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Old 18-01-2012, 21:53   #1
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Solar Prices Expected Below $.70/ Watt

A report by GTM Research claims the price drop we have seen shall only accelerate... ( lower prices for us...)

Interesting. A snippet is posted below:

<snip>
The global polysilicon industry will undergo a major shakeout over the next two years, as the feedstock's epic 2011 price declines will continue through 2013. With new entrants bringing capacity online and incumbent suppliers fulfilling expansion plans fomented in the PV demand boom of yesterday, global polysilicon capacity is forecasted to double by 2013 over 2010 levels. In today's market of waning PV demand, this over-supply has already begun to open significant gaps in production scale and therefore cost structure between industry leaders and an increasingly marginalized group of new entrants.
<snip>

they are selling the report, but the summary shows only good news for boaters contemplating a solar system in the future..

others that have the full report have some great quotes:
"A key consequence of continued low polysilicon prices at or below US$30/kg is expected to see module manufacturers saving approximately US$0.20 per watt, which could bring module prices below US$0.70 per watt, according to GTM Research."
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Old 18-01-2012, 21:56   #2
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Re: Solar Prices expected below $.70/watt

Very nice. Solar energy needs to be much less expensive. Not only for boats but for the benefit of the planet.
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Old 18-01-2012, 22:06   #3
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Re: Solar Prices expected below $.70/watt

I'd like to see some of the flexible panels come down in price. Things are crazy expensive with crap output.
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Old 18-01-2012, 22:11   #4
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Re: Solar Prices expected below $.70/watt

Wouldn't it be cool if one day sail cloth could act as a solar panel as well? Or maybe the entire deck or the hull above the waterline could be a solar panel?

It would be an odd looking bluish boat but I think we could get used to it.
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Old 18-01-2012, 22:13   #5
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Re: Solar Prices expected below $.70/watt

A couple of months ago a San Diego PV supplier had a unit of rigid panels, probably Chinese, for $.50/watt. There was a pretty large minimum order.

Not directly applicable for marine use, but the basement is around that price, I would think.

Someone told me that the $.50 mark was the tipping point for large scale cost effectiveness.
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Old 18-01-2012, 22:23   #6
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Re: Solar Prices expected below $.70/watt

Big reason for over capacity of solar panels is that many jurisdictions, including Germany, have lowered or eliminate subsidies.

I get one of the solar trade magazines, and there is no end in sight; contractors and manufacturers are being encouraged to lobby their elected officials.

Looks like subsidies for windpower will be a thing of the past also.

I'm pretty mixed on the situation; on the one hand, all sources of energy should compete equally, on the other, solar and wind to have a social benefit. Great discussion items, but no one will win the argument one way or the other.
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Old 18-01-2012, 22:34   #7
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Re: Solar Prices expected below $.70/watt

/political

The governments of the world protect oil and coal; those groups have huge lobbying efforts in every country, ensuring they get as many breaks as they can. Doesn't seem too out of line for another form of energy to get the skids greased a bit.
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Old 18-01-2012, 22:39   #8
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Re: Solar Prices expected below $.70/watt

Numerous governments subsidize the purchase of solar systems so that people can purchase them below cost.
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Old 19-01-2012, 10:34   #9
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Re: Solar Prices expected below $.70/watt

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I'd like to see some of the flexible panels come down in price. Things are crazy expensive with crap output.
Crazy expensive? Yes.
Crap output? No.

Aurinco solar panels
The 100 watt flexible panel is the same size as my old Unisolar 32 watt.
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Old 19-01-2012, 10:50   #10
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Re: Solar Prices Expected Below $.70/ Watt

at those prices i might even buy some in the future,instead of nicking them off very isolated dangers..lol
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Old 19-01-2012, 11:22   #11
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Re: Solar Prices expected below $.70/watt

Quote:
Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
Crazy expensive? Yes.
Crap output? No.

Aurinco solar panels
The 100 watt flexible panel is the same size as my old Unisolar 32 watt.
Apples and oranges. We're talking about spending current money on panels, and a flexible panel of a Kyocera 135 will put out maybe half of that and cost twice as much. It's fine if you want to compare to older gear, but the newer rigid panels are still going to be clearly better than your older stuff.
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Old 19-01-2012, 11:35   #12
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Re: Solar Prices Expected Below $.70/ Watt

The lower prices while good, will probably not change my mind about putting them on my boat, (well I might buy a an extra panel or two). But if the price drops to .50c a watt as expected then the break even point on energy prices means it will pay for itself in a few years, instead of 30 years as it was when I calculated it before, (around $5.00 a watt). IE $1200 for a 250watt panel a few years ago.
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Old 19-01-2012, 12:14   #13
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Re: Solar Prices Expected Below $.70/ Watt

conversion efficiency though is still stuck around 20%.

meaning 80% of the sunlight is wasted.

Get that up much higher then it is really interesting to me.
The goal is over 90%.

Nantenna
Quote:
The most apparent advantage nantennas have over semiconductor photovoltaics is that nantenna arrays can be designed to absorb any frequency of light. The resonant frequency of a nantenna can be selected by varying its length. This is an advantage over semiconductor photovoltaics, because in order to absorb different wavelengths of light, different band gaps are needed. In order to vary the band gap, the semiconductor must be alloyed or a different semiconductor must be used altogether.[2]
Nantenna to Improve Solar Capture Threefold - Domestic Fuel

Quote:
University of Missouri engineer Patrick Pinhero, an associate professor in the MU Chemical Engineering Department, is developing a flexible solar sheet that will capture more than 90 percent sunlight.
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