[mythtv-users] [Slightly OT] solar power for all our gadgets

Jeff Walther trag at io.com
Wed Mar 25 17:24:20 UTC 2009

> Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2009 23:16:22 -0400
> From: "Michael T. Dean" <mtdean at thirdcontact.com>

> On 03/24/2009 10:36 PM, Shawn Rutledge wrote:

>> It seems you can actually buy solar cells
>> that look like shingles now ("roof integrated", they call it), but
>> they still cost more.  I don't get it; this technology should be
>> cheaper than making the single-crystal cells.

The company making the shingles stopped making them.  I do not know why. 
When I wanted to put SPV panels on my roof that was the first thing I
looked for.   I also do not know if they will start making them again.  I
suspect that there were reliability issues which were eating up all their
profits.  I don't remember the exact evidence, but something about the
wording of the announcement of the stoppage gave me that impression.  At
least that's what my internal marketing-speak translator came up with.

> who have a plant
> that's manufacturing rolls of "goop" that's not a
> crystalline-silicon-based solar cell that designed to be the same size
> as a shingle, but is really just a thing file on top of a real tar
> shingle.

> manufacturing process is churning out 1-mile-long
> rolls of it).  They've sold something like the next 3 years of
> production, already.
> I think this may actually be the same thing you're talking about (it's a
> thin-film PV device using amorphous Si, rather than crystalline silicon,

It's a different technology from the original shingle idea, but may be the
second thing to which Shawn referred.

As I understand it, it's manufactured with something a lot like inkjet
technology.  They have a way of (almost) printing the cells and they are

It is (so the article I read said) cheaper to manufacture than traditional
silicon based PV cells but also generates less electricity per

So, you can cover your roof for less, but you'll get less total energy out
of the deal.  Depending on the exact price point for a full installation,
it might expand the areas where it makes economic sense.   However, it
still won't generate all or even most of the electricity that a typical
household uses on the average.

Jeff Walther

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