[amsat-bb] Waiting for Solar Panel Efficiency (Ha!)

Bob WB4SON at gmail.com
Thu Dec 31 16:25:32 UTC 2015

Sort of off the AMSAT topic, but the most recent estimate is that about 20
gigawatts of solar will be added in 2016 -- almost doubling the total
installed capacity of US solar power.  This is being primarily driven by
residential installations.  Utility-scale installations are actually down

One thing that was keeping mass market efficiency down was a glut of
production capability that existed through 2014.  Manufactures were not
keen on investing in new processes at the same time they were going out of
business or consolidating.  That glut has been drying up, prompting Elon
Musk's to build a $1 billion dollar factory in Buffalo NY which will
produce 1 GW of panels annually by the end of 2016.  Those panels are
expected to be 22.1% efficient.  That's a pretty impressive gain in

Often times market conditions, not technology, dictates what reaches the
mass market, and that has most certainly been the case in the solar
industry.  That 50% increase in panel efficiency doesn't necessarily mean
that the cost per watt will be reduced in the short term -- those panels
may simply sell for 50% more.

73, Bob, WB4SON

On Thu, Dec 31, 2015 at 6:07 AM, Nick Pugh <quadpugh at bellsouth.net> wrote:

> Good point Bob but include the real estate cost  in to the equation and
> they improve.
> nick
> -----Original Message-----
> From: AMSAT-BB [mailto:amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org] On Behalf Of Robert
> Bruninga
> Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 11:06 AM
> To: amsat-bb at amsat.org
> Subject: [amsat-bb] Waiting for Solar Panel Efficiency (Ha!)
> Compare the cost and efficiency of solar panels for cubesats and for your
> house:
> http://aprs.org/Energy/solar/efficiency-comparison-cost.png
> _______________________________________________
> Sent via AMSAT-BB at amsat.org. AMSAT-NA makes this open forum available
> to all interested persons worldwide without requiring membership. Opinions
> expressed
> are solely those of the author, and do not reflect the official views of
> Not an AMSAT-NA member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program!
> Subscription settings: http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/amsat-bb

More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list