Thursday, May 21, 2009
BBC Persian just had a feature on this company based in Israel, prompting me to check around for some more information and I found two articles here and here (the first one has a video too). The solar power collecting dish this company makes are pretty ingenious - instead of using standard cells they replace them with some sort of mirror that lets it harness 75% of the sunlight coming in instead of about 15% for your average solar cell, and that means that the solar collectors can be much, much smaller than those using standard technology.
In fact, harnessing sunlight at 75% means that the energy produced costs exactly the same as fossil fuels, so there's no need to even pay extra for this power. As for what this could mean for the country as a whole, Wikipedia has the following statement:
According to Faiman, who led the Israeli team that developed the technology, 10% of Israel’s population (1,000 megawatts) could live on the energy from 12 square kilometres of land.The company's site can be seen here. They are now working on building a smaller version of these collectors that can be bought and used by individuals at their homes.