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April 29, 2006



I remember, years ago, a proposal to integrate holographic mirrors into windows, or awnings, to provide indirect indoor lighting. Light incident at inconvenient angles (too high, too low) was reflected onto the ceiling. In some ways, I find that more interesting than holographic solar concentrators.

Still, as I understandi it holographic concentrators introduce the possibility of solid state solar arrays. Point them in the general direction of the sunlight, and they'll efficiently collect energy all day long, without the borderline prohibitive expenses of sun trackers.


10 suns is enough. At that concentration 39% efficiecy has been demonstrated in NREL tests.

The frequencies not used by the PV cells can be directed to generate heat or provide light energy for an algae energy system.

With this cost reduction, how can any other sources except wind power compete in a free market or one where subsidies are equalized across the spectrum of renewable, fossil, and nuclear?

Robert McLeod

What makes you think that adding complexity to a system correlates to decreased cost?


Not adding complexity, shifting complexity.

The holograms are more expensive, but they don't need to move to follow the sun. Sun tracking hardware (and you can't really do concentrators without it) ends up being a pretty substantial chunk of the overall cost of an installation. The frames are more complicated, and have parts that are both moderately expensive and can wear out.


Well I meant cost per watt and cost per kwh.

By generating more power from the same installation by increasing the proportion of solar energy converted.

At 90% efficiency for instance, solar might power everything from the energy that falls on collectors on buildings, over parking lots, and highways. With no other sources needed.


When I consider something like this, the first thing I look at is cost per KW, and the second thing is, can it pass homeowner associations' architectural standards. For instance, I don't think the SunCube will pass muster in many cases due to the fact it 'stands out' against the typical dark American roof shingles.

At $2.40/KW, it becomes attractive in states with lower incentives, and if the finished product resembles that photo, it has a better chance of blending in unobtrusively. At $1/KW, everyone will want it.


Sorry, meant to state those as $$/watt.


Yep, good point on zoning.

And I am wondering if this hologram design could be adapted to collect dispersed solar radiation from cloud filtered light.

Combined with certain kinds of concentrating collectors it just might. I think my current design would not need this feature though.

10 suns should be possible even with cloud light. And with vacuum tube heat collection the heat portion of the energy collected should be very efficient also.

The hard part to acomplish is adding infrared PV cells, as they are a very low production item still in the experimental stage.

But even with 39% PV solar to electric conversion and the heat collection this design should be very efficient where the heat can be used directly in the building that the panels are mounted on.

As far as collection of solar energy from highways, if tubing is placed in the asphalt surface and a heat collecting medium like oil is used to transport heat to turbine generators operating with refrigerant every mile or so, hooked into the grid, a vast amount of electricity could be generated.

How much of electric transportation could be powered this way with recharging stations along the highway and even induction strips that could recharge cars and power trucks and buses while they are moving down the highway?

Could geothermal heat be pumped back through the tubing to clear snow and restore the road surface to a safe condition and allow energy collection on sunny winter days?


Some new towns in Sweden melt snow off the pavement as a side-effect of putting all the services under a pavement that can be tilted open for access to water, sewerage, power, telecoms, and public heat from a CHP scheme. The waste heat from the pipes keeps the pavement clear in winter.


Wow tilt open pavement? Scandinavians rock!

That Norwegian floating wind generator is fantastic, as well as their underwater generator in the fijord. Looks like a wind generator mounted on the seabed.

The beauty of using ground heat to do the job (around 50 to 60 degrees) is that it would save snow removal energy, cut down road salt, and allow energy collection from highways even in winter.

The idea of nounting solar panels over highways is a good one also, more efficient than simple heat collection, but costlier. I think that this tubing embedded in the asphalt scheme is more apropriate for highways and solar collectors are more apropriate for location on buildings and over parking lots.

Given the complete exploitation of these areas it might be possible to avoid any use of undeveloped land for solar power, and still power civilization (such as it is).

I like the idea of using land that has been devestated by chemical farming for huge wind farms whilst restoring these areas to a natural state. Like a huge prairie restoration/wind farm national park on the northern great plains going international up into Canada.

Dave Roberts from Gristmill blog maybe asking Al Gore about that idea as he interviews him today. My question suggestion, we'll see. Hehehey.


We are taking over Jim's eminently reasonable, excellent blog for these wacky notions, hehey.

Sorry Jim, will try to keep this stuff semi-practical.


Did a quick comparison between this and the other recent posting on the SunCube. All this is MHO.

Advantages of the SunCube - highest efficiency photocell, smaller surface area/watt, system components easily swappable for maintenance/upgrade

Advantages of the Prism units - lower cost per watt, no mechanical tracking needed, more likely to pass zoning/covenant standards

The biggest disadvantages I see for the Prism units are higher surface area/watt, and it APPEARS the unit is permanently assembled/fabricated, so when higher efficiency photocells come out you won't be able to swap, as is the case with the SunCubes.


Given the still-good transparency of these panels they could be used as windows on the south sides of buildings. In Vancouver most tall buildings are walls-of-glass. Over-heating in the summer is an issue and these kinds of "windows" would help control it while still allowing good visibility outward. Could make a nice double win.


If they end up looking more or less like what they do in the picture, these guys could make great integrated sun-shades/awnings for the south face of buildings. PVs have already been utilized in a number of places for this application, but the reflective properties and partially see-through aspect of this design would make a great sunshade. (sorry.... I hang out with design students too much...)

reden rodriguez

this is a cool development and very star wars-y! but most of the comments here are right. cost is a major consideration here. how does this compare with conventional technologies? does it signicantly increase energy output? solar cells have a long stigma which made them unpopular and unrealistic years ago.


Better check again Reden, solar is back in a big way.

Silicon fabs cannot keep up with demand. The latest efficiecy is 21% for flat panel PCs and 39% for concentrating PV.

Germany is paying and incentivized price of 50 cents per kwh for solar generated electricity.


Energy generation cost, $/kWh, is the only meaningful gage for cost effectiveness, and it is determined by the cost, efficiency AND longevity of the module.

My question is if the holographic materials used in the concentrator can maintain performance for, say, 25 years, which standard plat PV modules typically can.





Curious Dude

Why hasn't Black Silicon been put to use yet???


All this talk about alternative energies is fine and well but what is the real truth behind it?

What was General Eisenhower really warning us about? What is it about the military-industrial complex that he saw in it that compelled him to make this warning?

The military has dictated the dynamism of the technology sector. GPS and the internet just to name a few.

It is not us nor the free market system that will dictate when America will adopt and use alternative energies effectively in any measurable way that will mitigate its' geopolitical risk to itself but its' military complex that will determine that!

So the question will be not when will America free itself from energy dependence of oil but rather how soon its' military can do so without something bad happening first!

yhoo search "invest_mavin"

'The World's Greatest Detective'
When A Revolution Is Born!


If you have looked into solar energy as a method for heating your home, panels are usually the first things that come up.

There are, however, other unique methods.

The Solar Heating Aspect You Have Never Heard of Before

The power of the sun is immense. The energy in one day of sunlight is more than the world needs. The problem, of course,

is how does one harness this power. Solar panels represent the obvious solution, but they have their downside. First,

they can be expensive depending upon your energy needs. Second, they do not exactly blend in with the rest of your home.

Passive solar heating represents a panel free method of harnessing the inherent energy found in the sun for heating

purposes. If you come out from a store and open the door of your car in the summer, you understand the concept of passive

solar heating. A wide variety of material absorbs sunlight and radiates the energy back into the air in the form of heat.

Passive solar heating for a home works the same way as the process which overheats your car in the parking lot.



Someone was working on multi-junction cells to cover all the frequencies the sun emits in a way that would generate 40% efficiency. It was a big deal for them to push beyond 37% from two years ago.

Using optical aluminum or silver (94-96%) to concentrate light into a prism (91-94%), and then only using the correct material at each frequency in the rainbow (70-90%) that comes out could reach 60-90% total efficiency.

Why the delay?


Check this out! Looks alike holography !!!


Where I can buy Holographic Solar?
Is there production in europe?

Drilling Fluids

It cannot, however, be used to dry alkaline gases such as ammonia because it will form addition products. It is used to dry kelp, which is then used to produce soda ash. It can also be added to liquids to remove suspended or dissolved water.

solar hot water heater

Solar energy is a blessings to us, to fight with the problem of scare resources.

solar water

This hologram design could be developed to collect dispersed solar radiation from cloud filtered light. By generating more solar energy, the system will able to function for various works such as water and space heating.

Cheap  Jordans

The man who has made up his mind to win will never say "impossible".

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