Holograms and Hemispheres
Thirty three years ago,
I hitched out to San Franscisco to go to the
School of Holography.
Once you understand Holography,
you are never quite the same.
Holograms can capture reality in such a way that it's almost real.
Once you understand that the wave form can be captured
on film, instead of the focused image,
you begin to see things differently.
I believed then that some day holography would play a vital role
in solar energy conversion and control.
I still do.
Here is a recent example of the possibilities.
Seeing the Holographic Solar Answer
Renewable Energy Access
July 7, 2005
Niskayuna, New York. A new company believes holographic technologies might be the next promising frontier for increasing energy efficiency from solar photovoltaic modules.
Direct Global Power (DGP) has formed a subsidiary, Prism Solar Technologies, in a joint venture with the inventors of a unique holographic photovoltaic (PV) technology which the company says can dramatically reduce the amount of solar cells required in a PV module.
Direct Global said the holographic module technology is "cell-neutral" and can spectrally select the desired portion of sunlight allowing for "cooler" solar cell operation while maintaining an increased power output by concentrating specific solar wavelengths unto the cells.
"This technology that will cause solar energy to "sling-shot" over other renewable energy options" said an optimistic George Mignon, PST's Chief Operations Officer. "To date, little attention has been given to optics technologies in solar module R&D. Our products will change that, as we show how our holographic technology can impact solar module output and application.
There are some goods reasons to believe that holography can help bring the cost of solar electricity down to the ranges we need in order to begin to deploy solar on a massive, global scale, as if we are on "at war" basis, because, you see
we are at war.
There is another promising technology which uses the same technology as the Arecibo radio telescope to reduce the cost of solar electricity. In this technological innovation, the focus is moved instead of the reflector. The reflector is a fixed hemisphere. Like the Arecibo telescope, the receiver moves as the focus moves.
This means that only 5 % of the parts are moving.
Increasing the amount of solar flux on a solar cell increases its output proportionately.
If reflector material can be installed at prices below cell material, the strategy should substantially reduce cost and provide a break through in the cost of solar electricity. This is without any other breakthroughs in any lab anywhere. The concept is patented and the developers are looking for demonstration projects now. By the way, in the spirit of full disclosure, the inventor and the owners are close to me.
This technology, like wind power, is capable of providing clean,
renewable energy today,
At prices that we can afford well into tomorrow.
We can move away from war and towards the light if we want to.
We have the technology.
But do we have a regulatory environment that reflects the
the realities of the current system of energy consumption?
Or is the regulatory deck stacked so to speak?
When truly enlightened policies emerge that reflect the truth
of our predicament and our current consumption practices,
We will charge polluters for the carbon and other chemicals they emit.
Our air will no longer be their free dumping ground.
We will put a sustainability charge on the use of finite resources,
for we are truly stealing them from the generations that follow us.
That money will go into a sustainability fund for those
who didn't get to enjoy our little hundred year fire sale.
We will include the cost of the army and the navy
we must maintain to defend the Persian Gulf onto the price of gas.
We will make nuclear power plants get real insurance policies.
Then the market will work.
"Somebody has to do something,
and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us."
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