Sort of off the AMSAT topic, but the most recent estimate is that about 20 gigawatts of solar will be added in 2016 -- almost doubling the total installed capacity of US solar power. This is being primarily driven by residential installations. Utility-scale installations are actually down 5%.
One thing that was keeping mass market efficiency down was a glut of production capability that existed through 2014. Manufactures were not keen on investing in new processes at the same time they were going out of business or consolidating. That glut has been drying up, prompting Elon Musk's to build a $1 billion dollar factory in Buffalo NY which will produce 1 GW of panels annually by the end of 2016. Those panels are expected to be 22.1% efficient. That's a pretty impressive gain in efficiency.
Often times market conditions, not technology, dictates what reaches the mass market, and that has most certainly been the case in the solar industry. That 50% increase in panel efficiency doesn't necessarily mean that the cost per watt will be reduced in the short term -- those panels may simply sell for 50% more.
73, Bob, WB4SON
On Thu, Dec 31, 2015 at 6:07 AM, Nick Pugh [email protected] wrote:
Good point Bob but include the real estate cost in to the equation and they improve. nick
-----Original Message----- From: AMSAT-BB [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of Robert Bruninga Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 11:06 AM To: [email protected] Subject: [amsat-bb] Waiting for Solar Panel Efficiency (Ha!)
Compare the cost and efficiency of solar panels for cubesats and for your house:
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