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Solar Strategy

I live in Phoenix and get a lot more sunshine than most folks. The idea of sunlight paying for my AC and other electric needs is a powerful one.

I ran across this article this morning, An old engine learns new solar tricks about a company using the Stirling engine for generating power.

Infinia has details on their page here
This is not new as there are a number of companies that are using this technology, but these folks are getting up to 24% conversion and the costs of the units are coming down. Especially in relationship to flat panel and roof mounted units.

Currently they are 15,000.00 bucks. When they get down to around 1500-3000 bucks, it is the sort of thing that will sell a bunch, and drop your electric bill.

More better Solar soon.

Living in Arizona makes Solar power generation semi attractive. The biggest stumbling blocks are price, and efficiency. The lads at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed and demonstrated a new coating that captures 96% of the solar energy. Up from the 66% on its best day for current solar panels. Plus panels can be fixed rather than requiring stuff to move them to track the sun.

The price is still high, (which makes payback a bitch) and I am still looking at ways to mount them on roofs that will not leak. There are a lot of promises out there, but I remained unconvinced. Keeping them from being blown off is a plus as we do get wind storms with the rain we do get.