Greenfield Solar has developed a small 1.5 Kw power plant that can be assembled by two people in half a day using regular tools. The kicker is that their $6,000 unit has the output of about $4 per watt compared to the industry norm, which is currently about $8 per watt.
The concentrating solar power plant tracks the pathway of the sun from dawn to dusk for maximum intensity of the rays. But, what makes this system unique is how the 40 layer solar chips are stacked in order to maximize electrical output.
Cleveland.com references a spokesperson for the U. S. DOE, “The cell structure is like a stack of pancakes, cut in half and then turned on edge, said Sarah Kurtz, a chemical physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado and an expert on solar technology. Using the same pancake analogy, a conventional solar panel would consist of individual pancakes laid out to cover the breakfast table.”
Even though each GreenField solar collector is small and inexpensive and could fit in many people’s backyards, the company sees the marketplace for their product as the larger utility companies who are interested in adding renewable energy to their portfolios.
Over the past summer 2008, GreenField Solar introduced both their first commercial installation at the NASA Glenn Research Center outside of Cleveland, OH, and their first production model. With recent breakthroughs in solar technology it is only a matter of time until the sun will compete with coal as the major source of energy in this country.