Hey, there's going to be a half-price sale on solar energy this year, as soon as these way-cool solar panels from Solient Energy find their way onto your roof. In its first iteration that'll be available later this year, the devices work like a series of slats that track the sun.
Lenses inside these lightweight trough-like panels direct light to highly efficient solar cells, and the best news is that somehow these Solient guys have figured out how to manufacture these suckers at a price that's half as much as those old-timey solar panels we're using today.
But wait, that ain't nothin' yet—wait until you see the next-generation design, after the jump.
This one is even more sophisticated, because instead of those slats that look like adjustable blinds, this solar array has little rectangular concentrators that can tilt vertically and horizontally, more accurately tracking the sun as its position changes in the sky throughout the day. Solient says this design, due by 2010, will require even fewer solar cells, and the panel itself will cost just a quarter the price of today's solar arrays.
So maybe our dream of going off-grid by 2012 without suffering at all isn't so far-fetched after all. This could be some disruptive technology that will cause us to alter our blueprints once again. Back to the old drawing board, but we mean that in the best possible way.
Solar Power at Half the Cost [Technology review]