24 October 2010

New plastic holds promise of cheaper solar panels

Solar panels for use in long-term applications (generating energy for decades on roofs, say) are both stiff and heavy because they use glass to admit light but keep out water. But word comes now that a new plastic has the durability of glass but is lighter and flexible. The new plastic, from 3M, should last 20 to 25 years, the company says, according to a great report in MIT's Technology Review. The clear implication is that solar panels may soon be cheaper and require less energy to deliver.

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