Ann, this is a very positive development. As I know you are a fan of "printing", that this is right up your alley. RFID circuits have been printed for a while. These are low density, low power semiconductor devices, and the printing process is perfect for such high volume applications. Solar cells are in the same ballpark. They do not require the high density of current semiconductor processes used for CPUs or Memory. Thus, a different technology is probably indicated.
It is interesting, as well, that the first appications are military bases. This is useful and appropriate. The military needs and should research secure supplies of energy. This is a great step forward for them.
Lou, you're right, I am interested in the uses of "printing" like processes for a variety of different apps. Electronic circuits have been laid down by "lithographic" processes for many years, but lithography originally referred to traditional printing on paper. Regarding the fact that the first apps are military bases, I think that's primarily a matter of available funding.
Nanosolar was started in 2002, and 5 years later, on December 12, 2007 the company announced that it had started solar cell production in its San Jose factory, with its German facility slated to go into operation in the 1st quarter of 2008.
For one thing; something smells fishy about this company and their technology, it seems like they are using the idea of a simple, fast manufacture, economic solar panel as a cash cow to endlessly collect money from Government AND investors...
" The company has received financing from a number of technology investors including Benchmark Capital, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google. Nanosolar received the largest amount in a round of Venture Capital technology funding amongst United States companies during Q2 2006, with 100 million USD of new funding secured. It also received the largest amount of financing of any private company in 2008 (USD 300 million in Q1)."
"As of 2008 Nanosolar has raised about 500 million USD in total funding by private investors Benchmark Capital, Mitsui Ventures, Mohr Davidow Ventures, OnPoint, Capricorn Management, Firelake Capital Management, GLG Partners, Grazia Equity, Swiss Re, Beck Energy, Omidyar Network, Lone Pine Capital, Energy Capital Partners, Riverstone Holdings, EDF, The Skoll Foundation, EDS (HP) and The Carlyle Group"
As today they keep raking in more investors money... San Jose, Calif. – June 1, 2012 – Nanosolar Inc. today announced that it has raised $70 million in new capital. The over-subscribed round was funded by current and new investors, including OnPoint Technologies, Inc., Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Ohana Holdings LLC, and international Family Offices... their explanation : The financing will be used to expand production of thin film solar cells and panels, support research and development... more money thrown on to the money pit/black hole of R&D, aren't they ready for production yet?
Inexplicable Management musical chairs? On Jan. 19 2012 former EVP of Engineering & Operations Eugenia Corrales was named CEO following CEO Geoff Tate returning to retirement. Tate had been CEO of Nanosolar since March 22, 2010 having been hired out of retirement as an interim CEO. Tate replaced co-founder Martin Roscheisen who had been the company's Chairman & CEO for the past eight years; no reason was given for Roscheisen's exit.
In September 2009, Nanosolar announced the launch of production at a rate of 640 MW annually; however actual production in 2009: an estimated 4 MW...
So far I have never seem their panels in the market; their full production was going to .
"..Nanosolar's solar cells have been verified by NREL to be as efficient as 14.6% in 2006, 15.3% in 2009, and 17.1% in 2011.." ... but the NREL : The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a government-owned, contractor-operated facility; it is funded through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). This arrangement allows a private entity to operate the lab on behalf of the federal government under a prime contract.
Suddenly a BIG LIE becomes evident when you read:
"Efficiencies for current production panels are said to be 8-9%"
I think they lost the boat when the price of silicon was high, now with lower prices per silicon KW, the extra cost resulting from the inefficency of this panels, that take more space, mounting hardware and installation labor, per KW; increases the competitive cost putting them in disadvantage.
I think they are doomed, to be a sleeper technology or die of financial imposibilitiy.
What is going on ?? One reason could be that, their contracts with the military, or BIG OIL with their paws lobying in congress is keeping them unther the water until they die of natural causes.
Thanks rdelaplaza, I follow the advancement on solar panel technology pretty closely and if all the ' advances' announced over the past 25 years were remotely true, solar energy would be about 2 cents a KW today. The best way to capitalize on solar lately is to wait for the bankrupcy of a solar company and buy their inventory cheap! (Evergreen solar panels were a great deal)
I've seen this technology [and probably this company] promoted for many years. If it really is cost effective, they should have captured the lion's share of the PV market by now. I agree that the revolving door management of this company have been riding the venture & government grant capital trains for several years. When their production process can compete with utility rates for commercial installations without government "Green" incentives, they can say they have a cost effective technology. I'll admit it requires $$$ invested to bring technology changes to market, but 3-4 years should be enough in our rapidly accelerating development environment.
The key issue with solar cells econmic justification rests with the integrity of those who state the solar cell will be 40 % more effective due to less cost in panel producion. unfortunately may be believed in obama/chu/pretense of understanding the complexity of materials when they make their selection, based on donars to obamas continuation in fraudulent government, or the idea to use a faulty solar power as energy backup when the terrorists within detonate the transistor station on our electric grid, when the war breakes out, from within and without, as our armed forces are dismantled to a point no loger capable of protecting us from invasion, while terminating our collective rights to bear dangerous arms, in an effort to haste our vulnerability
The significant element of that claim is life of panel, which isolates the metal backing on back of glass/silicon/metalfoil stamped out sheet, pressed into the mounting frame. Which like most other products of the probal who like both EV's and rockets gets funds to build products untested in the field. The more complex foil tend to have a shorter life span depending on the number of materials in the foil alloy, as each metal has a different resonant wave frequency, and breaks (vibrates) apart at an acellerated rate faster than, separated foils than compounds, when subjected to the bundle of resonant waves involved in the suns energy bombardment onto the solar panel---while its difficult to predict without actual field testing, I would venture an estimate the solar panels will probably fall into disuse before they become the key component of energy for the militay installation, where the petrochemical backup generators are probably removed with the explaination they are unecessary with the solar panel in place, in an concerted effort to disarm us. as our military youth, mangitudes of intellect above obama/obama/lawyers who make these key issue decisions, without qualifications tp make their opinions of reliability or justification of replacing petrochemical powered backup generators, as we draw closer to war undera speudo electorate, having cut our military more than out last 3 presidents combined, who cut it to near 30 % of its power, as we are now a military based on reserve backups who are equipped for domestic crisis, which go unabated, like the summer of arson we now experience, as our nation now approaching 200 surface naval vessals of randon specification, while our pentagon advise obama/panetta that 317 naval surface vessels of exact specification are required to protect our shores from even primitive assault, as obama hastens to end the american way of life, economically, militarily, educationally, while allowing our infrastructure to hasten in its failure as the fed steal now 40 % of taxation, while obama loots our tresury under the charade of stimulus, where he gives our taxpayer dollars remaining in our ending treasury to fingers of the fed.
Pretending that wind and solar are the answer to energy or clean energy he claims, fails to address wind and solar provide 2 1/2 % of our energy requrments, while coal fired power plants provide 85 % of our electrical grid, which inceases if we were to changeover to the pseudo-cleaner EV's when the buyer has not adopted to EV's, because of our reality that coal gasoline which costs well below our imported oil based gasoline oligopoly.
In the pretense of sound government currently bring america, as we know, it to an end, rapidly approaching s he prepares to attack iran while inciting religious war, in an effort to get another term, like clinton did.
who knows if he will pull it off or be rejected from government, by a mass display which marches on DC in such droves he cannot deny the people without killing several hundred thousand,which he presumes the military will actually do to protect his treasonist regime
were it actually true it would be a great step forwad, it almost sounds too good to be true, which in all probabi;ity is the case, given access to the realities of materials engineering.
Its amazing our nation permitts a disbarred lawyer without industrial, science, or military experience to guide us through these trying times, considering his directions are extremely questionable, exposing his inexperience to make sound decisions
Do you not question the lfe of the party when its based on a complex multielemental compound structure subjected to sun energy as an untested product ? Especially upon study of materials principles based on the very real resonanting frequencies of a multipart compounds, shown to have significantly shorter half lives as the number of elemental species increase. people in government do so without access to variables of subject matter they make opinions about---unfortunately our military suffers, which I wonder if their decisions predisposing variables are based on this treasonist activity, after watching them in actiion during the last 3 1/2 years, where their 300 czars micromanage the federal agencies who would normally overview and prevent its own destruction, were it not for mini czars, as affroamerica makes its bid to administer our nation, or destroy it in an effort to reallocate assets to the sub-culture, who double in numbers every 29 years while the other multicultural element of america have 1.9 children per family.
Interesting discussion already here. The proof, of coure, will be in the production. When I can order these cells from one of the suppliers that advertise in Design News, and actually have the product arrive and function as advertised, then it will be a valid item. In the interim, press releases can keep stock prices up and keep investors coming. Oh Well!
There are good arguments for why thin-film solar may eventually be less expensive overall than current PV solar, since its efficiencies tend to be higher. The main problem has been with expensive production methods, so cutting cost there could potentially cut overall costs. Nanosolar is not the only company to make a CIGS-type ink, or to print circuits on aluminum foil (although other circuits printed on foil are not usually used for solar cells). Since their panels are aimed at utility-sized installations, I doubt that they'll be available for sale to individuals anytime soon, or why an individual would want one.
I understand that the target market is huge utility arrays, but why wouldn't I want to make my own custom sized array for my own use? And as an engineer with a whole lot of experience in designing products to satisfy customers requirements, don't you think that I might be able to figure out my own requirements? In addition to all of that, almost without exception, products targeted for industrial applications are far more reliable than the current grade of trash presented to the general public. so it is certain that I could build a solar cell array far more durable than what I could buy, and have fun building it besides. Some of us engineers actually enjoy the design and build process, and find a good bit of pleasure in a project that functions well the very first time.
William, I also tend to buy commercial-grade equipment when possible, for the same reasons. And I also like to design and build my own stuff, although usually it's in the realm of non-metallic and non-electronic items like furniture, various wood structures, food, or clothing. My point here was that these panels are optimized for very large buildings, so are more applicable to a utility installation than an individual home, thus the rhetorical question.
Ann, it still would be interesting to see what I could do with that kind of material, since it might be easy to work with. Of course we did not hear much about just how durable it is, which may be the show-stopper. If the material was not excessivley expensive it may just be something very interesting to experiment with. There could be a lot of possibilities.
Thanks for the reply--I see your point. Yes, it would be interesting to find out, especially after these utility trials, if the material is adaptable to smaller panels for home use. Of course, it may take awhile before enough volumes occur in large-scale usage to bring down the material price. Or other factors may help bring down the price if that material is already in use in other industries.
As the 3D printing and overall additive manufacturing ecosystem grows, standards and guidelines from standards bodies and government organizations are increasing. Multiple players with multiple needs are also driving the role of 3DP and AM as enabling technologies for distributed manufacturing.
A growing though not-so-obvious role for 3D printing, 4D printing, and overall additive manufacturing is their use in fabricating new materials and enabling new or improved manufacturing and assembly processes. Individual engineers, OEMs, university labs, and others are reinventing the technology to suit their own needs.
For vehicles to meet the 2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, three things must happen: customers must look beyond the data sheet and engage materials supplier earlier, and new integrated multi-materials are needed to make step-change improvements.
3D printing, 4D printing, and various types of additive manufacturing (AM) will get even bigger in 2015. We're not talking about consumer use, which gets most of the attention, but processes and technologies that will affect how design engineers design products and how manufacturing engineers make them. For now, the biggest industries are still aerospace and medical, while automotive and architecture continue to grow.
More and more -- that's what we'll see from plastics and composites in 2015, more types of plastics and more ways they can be used. Two of the fastest-growing uses will be automotive parts, plus medical implants and devices. New types of plastics will include biodegradable materials, plastics that can be easily recycled, and some that do both.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.