GLOBAL FUTURE ANALYSIS
PERSPECTIVES | SUN LIGHT
Sunlight gives according to the World Meteorological Organization an average of 1367 Watt energy per square meter (average is based on day/night cycle, sun distance cycle and average geographical location). Sunlight can be transformed by Photo Voltaic (PV) technology. Solar energy harvesting technologies in laboratory settings has already reached 40,7% efficiency. Solar energy therefore is very capable of providing the energy needed in households and offices. The carbon oil/gas/coal companies are not interested in PV, because it's an one time investment type of sale (the energy after the sale comes for free) and their business models are based on selling/providing daily/weekly refills. They also don't have the location space to install PV and are not very much active on the power generation and power sale markets (missing the power market will be their historical mistake in the future history books). The power companies have a complete different approach: they use a two path strategy (both the old central power plants model and the new decentral PV model) trying to seduce households and companies to install PV capacity on their own buildings by finance and exclusive grid connection contracts signed by the households/companies. This way they both have them as customer for a long period and build (off-balance third party signed and financed) a huge decentral power generation capacity that they can sell and doesn't need expensive carbon fuel. The next years their will be an explosion of these virtual decentral PV focused power companies (just contract/billing engines). PV was historical more expensive than carbon generated energy. This is changing as PV prices per square meter goes down, PV output per square meter grows and oil/coal/gas/oil/uranium prices go up, up and up. PV was only available in panels and could only be made from expensive to produce mono-crystalline silicon that was cut into wafers, but this both limitations in use (flat panels) and production (crystal based) will also change. Second generation is no longer difficult to produce. No longer expensive silicon crystal wafer based, but based on much more cheaper thin films, using much cheaper PV generating materials, that are brought onto the film by cheaper technologies. Second generation is by this all much more cheaper in production. Film based is yet less powerful (currently average 15% PV effective, but increasing each year) than silicon crystal wafer based (currently average 38% PV effective) technology, but the investment efficiency ratio (due the lower investment price) is already much more better and if the efficiency of film based production will increase the way wafer based production had done (from 10 to 40% PV efficiency in 10 years). PV technology will be improved in lowering production costs and increasing the efficiency. PV technology also will be approved in applicability: integration with roofs, walls, windows and objects (streetlights, windmills, etc.). The PV technology of the future is just a cheap produced thin (maybe even clear see trough) flexible film with a negative layer on the bottom and a positive layer on the top making it possible to just glue it to any object. Production will be done very cheap by vaporizing (or even by just printing) materials to the film. After the film phase the multi layer paint phase will arrive (and than is even offset printing PV panels possible). Window based PV technology will also boom. Or in it's concentrated vision by special glass full with invisible small mirrors that redirects some light to one side of the window where a small PV strip is located. Or by a clear film technology. Double and triple glass windows with PV technology will replace al current windows if energy prices rise further. Window based PV is very easy to install and very invisible. Two major benefits. Much more cheaper to produce, buy of invest/finance and much more easy to integrate: that's the future of PV. PV will be thin film (or maybe even paint) based and could be taking in design of each object that is out there in the sun: road lightening columns, windmill blades, roof tiles, wall bricks, bus stops, traffic lights, car bodies, noise reduction installations beside free ways, etc, etc, etc. Garden lightening is a perfect example of it: just free light in the garden by cheap PV without wires. Any industrial manufactured object will have build-in PV in de near future. Concentrated PV in double or triple glassed windows will boost the PV capacity enormously. A part of the light is by invisible internal glass structure re-routed to one glass edge, where a small PV line is installed. These small PV lines get concentrated solar light and perform by that very effective, delivering high capacity/efficiency. PV will lead to an enormous decentral electricity generation, changing the grid demand severely. This is the reason some power companies try to sell their carbon based power plants, grid assets and even customer base and want to reinvent themselves as facilitator/financier/installer of PV potential. In Holland the power company Eneco wants to sell all carbon fueled power plants and infrastructural grid transportation assets, and wants to concentrated on central and decentral carbon free energy. In Holland the power company Nuon has bought the largest installation service organization in the market, for being on the first row (first in priority) as installation work will boom and also for getting a huge load of customer contracts. When power companies of this size help companies/people practical/financial by installing PV power generation potential with a contract to buy the over capacity, they take a piece of the cake of each installation which is installed on the property of others and is paid (by finance) by others. It's a lottery without any 'no cards' for them, and very attractive in times with very increasing carbon based fuel prices and uncertain carbon based supply. This is the reason that virtual (third party property based in both location and finance) PV power companies will boom and that each bank/financial also will have it's own. The 'old' traditional sunlight use (as in light: avoiding artificial power based light) will also boom due to window based PV technology in combination with 3 or glass layer windows: house of the future will have a lot more windows to harvest the light, warmth and PV of the sun maximal. In the near future will PV surfaces also harvest sunwind and other types of cosmic radiation (popular called: dark light). Mainly driven by the particles that the sun sends to the earth at daytime and less but still significant by cosmic radiation at night time. Due the fact that sunwind devices needs harvesting surface, sunwind technology will be researched as separated units, but after that fully integrated as separate layer under the PV technology (as these particles go straight to the first PV layer). Also will PV technology (as it's temperature increase due to sunlight will be cooled from it's current 40-50 degrees Celsius daytime operational temperature by a closed watersystem to the lower more best performance temperature of 15-30 degrees Celsius: using both the PV technology side effect of warmth creation and PV surfaces (when light hits an object it is partial converted to warmth) also in a sunthermal way to warm water for domestic use (for cleaning, washing, showering and maybe partial -by prewarming- heating), the same way traditional sunthermal boilers are used these days.
Author: Gijs Graafland
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