Saturday, April 07, 2007

Random Updates On Solar Power

DIY Solar Cooker
We recently had a post on the Gadhia solar cooker (based on the German Scheffler cooker) which has made significant inroads into the Indian rural hinterland. Here is how you can build your own solar power cooker at a much lower cost.

Solar Drier for Chillies
In Coimbatore, researchers at the Post-Harvest Technology Centre of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University have developed and installed a Poly House Solar Tunnel Drier to dry agricultural products like chillies. The drier cuts down the post-harvest loss of 35% to 40%, and also reduces the time to dry chillies to 4% moisture content from 7-10 days to just 2-3 days. The drier was installed at a village with financial support from Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), through DHAN Foundation, Madurai.

Solar Cell Prices falling
The cost of solar cells is falling. Despite the recent run-up in prices because of German demand, a multicrystalline solar module is available for as little as $4.31 per Watt peak (Wp) from a US retailer, while the minimum price for a thin film module is $3.00/Wp.

Update: via The Oil Drum, by 2010 power from the cheapest solar power will be cost competitive with power from a new coal-powered plant. Another research report on what is needed to get there, and beyond.