Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fwd: Join OG in Honoring Adrian Grenier & Peter Glatzer at our 2011 Conference & Awards

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From: Opportunity Green <>
Date: Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 11:08 AM
Subject: Join OG in Honoring Adrian Grenier & Peter Glatzer at our 2011 Conference & Awards

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Opportunity Green 2011 Update:
OG '11 exposes participants to an interdisciplinary cross-section of ideas at the forefront of sustainable business practices, design and tech, through a variety of formats, including creative panels and experiential workshops. From Fortune 500 powerhouses to inventive startups, Opportunity Green attracts over 850 industry professionals and executive decision-makers from around the globe.
Connect with 850+ colleagues from companies like: Patagonia, Google, Viacom, Coca-Cola, BMW Group, Cisco, Gensler, Eastman, Dwell, Toyota, Jamba Juice, Brightsource Energy, JP Morgan, Knoll, UCLA, NBC Universal, Bain & Company, USC, SAP, Honest Tea, CalTech, Ogilvy, Deloitte, Wells Fargo, FOX, Southern California Edison, Intertek, P&G, National Geographic, Sony, BBSP, Disney, USGBC, Gibson Dunn, Lexus, Green Mountain Energy, Tendril, Northrop Grumman, BP, BDO USA, Boeing, Classic Party Rentals, Vans, Quebec Delegation, Sungevity, French Consul, KPMG, Volcom, TIME, Live Nation, Latham & Watkins, Fast Company and many more.
Contact Casey Ly for registration, including group pricing at
Adrian Grenier and Peter Glatzer of SHFT to accept Eco-Maverick Award at Opportunity Green 2011. Join us!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Producing Flexible CIGS Solar Cells With Record Efficiency


ScienceDaily (Sep. 23, 2011) — The technology yielding flexible solar cells with an 18.7% record efficiency developed by scientists at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, has now been published in Nature Materials. Key to the breakthrough is the control of the energy band gap grading in the copper indium gallium (di)selenide semiconductor, also known as CIGS, the layer that absorbs light and converts it into electricity. The Empa team achieved this by controlling the vapor flux of elements during different stages of the evaporation process for growing the CIGS layer.

High-performance flexible and lightweight solar cells, say, on plastic foils, have excellent potential to lower the manufacturing costs through roll-to-roll processing and the so called "balance-of-system" cost, thus enabling affordable solar electricity in the near future. Thus far, however, flexible solar cells on polymer films have been lacking behind in performance compared to rigid cells, primarily because polymer films require much lower temperatures during deposition of the absorber layer, generally resulting in much lower efficiencies.

The research team at Empa's Laboratory for Thin Film and Photovoltaics, led by Ayodhya N. Tiwari, has been involved in the development of high-efficiency CIGS solar cells on both glass and flexible substrates with a special focus on reducing the deposition temperature of the CIGS layer. The group has repeatedly increased efficiency of flexible CIGS solar cells over the past years -- first at ETH Zurich and now since three years at Empa. With their current record value of 18.7% Tiwari and his team nearly closed the efficiency gap to cells based on multi-crystalline silicon (Si) wafers or CIGS cells on glass. The scientific details of their novel low-temperature deposition technology and the multi-layered device have recently been published in Nature Materials.

"To achieve such high efficiency values, we had to reduce the recombination losses of photo-generated charge carriers," said Tiwari. CIGS layers grown by co-evaporation at temperature of around 450 °C have a strong composition grading because of inadequate inter-diffusion of intermediate phases and preferential diffusion of gallium (Ga) towards the electrical back contact

To overcome this problem doctoral students Adrian Chirilă and Patrick Bloesch developed novel processes for optimizing the solar cell performance. To achieve an appropriate composition profile in the CIGS layer -- for enabling more efficient charge carrier collection and reduced interface recombination -- Chirilă and colleagues developed an innovative growth process by carefully controlling the Ga and indium (In) evaporation flux during different stages of the evaporation process.

High-efficiency solar cells -- grown on cheap metal-foils

Such high-efficiency CIGS solar cells up to now were developed only on glass substrates with processes where CIGS layers are grown at temperatures of 600 °C or above. In contrast, polymer foils cannot withstand such high temperatures. The low-temperature process now developed by Tiwari and Co. not only yielded an 18.7%-efficiency cell on polymer foils but also another record efficiency of 17.7% on steel foil without any diffusion oxide or nitride barrier layer commonly used in high-temperature processes. Both efficiencies were independently certified by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) in Freiburg, Germany. "We have thus shown that this low-temperature process is also applicable on low-cost metal foils such as aluminum or Mild-steel, achieving comparably high-efficiency cells and indicating a severe cost reduction potential with this technology," said Tiwari.

Scientists at FLISOM, a start-up company, and Empa have been collaborating to further develop low-temperature processing, and FLISOM is scaling up the technology for roll-to-roll manufacturing of monolithically interconnected solar modules and commercializing the technology. The research has been supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI), the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), EU Framework Programmes as well as by Swiss companies W. Blösch AG and FLISOM.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Maglev Wind Turbine

Demo CGI for proposed 2GW Magnetic Leviatated wind Turbine.

*Efficient Frictionless Power Generation with less maintenance, compared to HAWT.
No oil change or replacement of the bearings, gears.
Since, MAGLEV does NOT require such.

** Current bearing technology has forced wind turbine designers into horizontal spindle three bladed wind turbines. In this design the huge blades are connected to a spindle in the center. The bearings that support the spindle and control the pitch of the blades (which can be hundreds of feet long) see huge pitch-moment loading, some of which is manifest as torque energy that is focused through the center spindle. The target speed for the spindle is 18 or 20 rpm and the bearings holding the spindle are mounted in a huge casting which also contains a large gearbox stepping the speed up to 1800 to 2000 RPMs which allows for the proper surface speed relationship between the coils and magnets. It is necessary to invert or condition the current, which is expensive. This gearbox is full of many large bearings, gears and castings; for a 2 MW turbine the gearbox can easily weigh 30 tons. This gearbox needs to be mounted on the top of a pole more than 150 feet in the air and be able to support the turbine blades under full-force wind conditions.

***MAGLEV Power Generation, the pitch moment ratio is closer to 1-to-1 then the 100-to-1 as with a horizontal spindle design.

Solar is the “Fastest Growing Industry in America”
Stephen Lacey: The U.S. solar industry grew 102% last year and is on track to grow another 100% this year. What other industry doubled its growth during one of the worst economic periods in our history? The GOP has been using the Solyndra debacle to talk about “pet alternative energy.” This nonsens...

I'm thrilled that, at a time that US growth is around zero, solar grew 102% last year and is projected to grow 100% this year. Ray Kurzweil totally nailed this one as a futurist: he emphasized that this would happen more than anyone else I can recall. I think this is the best economic news to come out of the US this year, other than Apple's climb to "world's most valuable company".
John L. Sokol Amazing since the several largest Billion Dollar funded Solar companies around Silicon Valley went belly up this year. What dipstick are the Government and VC funding? It's my true believe that they are only funding cronies to steal solar funding rather then funding real start ups. This is so they can claim to back solar while at the same time, blocking solar farms, and being in Big Oil's back pocket. The reality is Solar is not quite Morse law, but still exponentially improving, as is battery and capacitor storage technologies and must at some point soon become cheaper then anything else.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fwd: OG25 Opens Nominations - Green Start-up 2011 Awards

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From: "Opportunity Green" <>
Date: Sep 15, 2011 10:45 AM
Subject: OG25 Opens Nominations - Green Start-up 2011 Awards
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CALL FOR NOMINATIONS - Opportunity Green OG25 Awards


Nomination Deadline:
Wednesday October 5th, 2011

Opportunity Green/OG25 Awards:
Los Angeles Center Studios
November 10-11, 2011

Finalist Companies will be selected from sectors such as:

  • Energy Efficiency
  • Product Design
  • Resource Conservation
  • Social Innovation
  • Green Building
  • Food Systems
  • and more

Opportunity Green is looking for the rising stars and innovative enterprises that are redefining our future as a force for positive change within their industry.

In its 3nd year, this open business competition will recognize the most promising start-ups committed to building a sustainable economy.

Each OG25 finalist will be showcased at, and receive a free pass to pitch their startup at the Opportunity Green 2011 Business Conference in Los Angeles.

For more info or to sponsor:
Casey Ly: (310)765-2233 x711

Opportunity Green - 1201 W. 5th Street, M210 Los Angeles, CA 90017

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Japan's Richest Man Outlines Renewable Energy Plan

From Slashdot:

"Speaking at the launch of his Japan Renewable Energy Foundation, Masayoshi Son, founder and CEO of Softbank, outlined a plan to rebuild Japan's energy infrastructure. Son said the country could shift to renewable energy sources for 60 percent of its electricity requirements over the next two decades. He called for a 2 trillion yen (US$26 billion) 'super grid' across the country, and underwater off the coast, that would zip electricity around cheaply and efficiently to meet demand."

Deaths per terawatt hour

Deaths per terawatt hour (from []):
Coal – world average: 161
Coal – China: 278
Coal – USA: 15
Oil: 36
Natural Gas: 4
Biofuel/Biomass: 12
Peat: 12
Solar: 0.44
Wind: 0.15
Hydro: 0.10
Nuclear: 0.04

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Solar Company Folds After $0.5B In Subsidies

From Slashdot:
"Solyndra, a Silicon Valley solar energy firm, subsidized to the tune of $500 million and held as a 'gleaming example of green technology,' announced bankruptcy yesterday. 1,100 employees fired."

If you can't make a self sustaining company after burning through $500 Million you deserve prison time.

Artificial light-harvesting method achieves 100% energy transfer efficiency