PARC and SolFocus Join Forces

The Palo Alto Research Centre (PARC) is probably most famous for being in incubators of cutting edge technologies such as the Graphic User Interface (GUI) and the computer mouse, which Apple commercialised with the introduction of the Lisa and the Macintosh. Now they are licensing 'clean energy technologies' to SolFocus (aka H2go) for their design of Concentrator Photovoltaics (CPVs). The press release for the joint venture, announced last month, says: "CPV technology creates electricity by using precision optical components such as lenses and mirrors to direct and "concentrate" sunlight onto high-efficiency solar cells. SolFocus' prototype solar panels are smaller, cheaper, and easier to manufacture than the flat-plate photovoltaic panels that currently dominate the market." This is a similar concept to that TH explored earlier with the Sunball product from Australia. Gary Conley, CEO of SolFocus, is recorded as saying; "The first-generation panels will break price barriers in the market, but the second-generation panels with PARC technology will change the market for solar dramatically," he said. "The current installed cost of the flat-plate photovoltaic systems is about $7 [USD] per watt, but our approach should produce electricity for about half that amount -- or less." The head of the PARC side of the deal indicates that this is just the beginning, when he comments; "we have a half-dozen additional projects under way that could be equally transformative." Via ::The AtoZ of Building.

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