Killer App for Smart Homes Energy Efficiency

The vision of the smart home has been around for decades. And an appealing vision it is - a computerized triumph of automation, controlling a house's lighting and heating, even the kitchen. Yet it has not yet caught on. What is needed is a "killer app" - a compelling use - and some government encouragement, according to Tim Woods, a partner in the consulting firm Poco Labs and an expert in smart home technology. The killer app, Mr. Woods said, will be energy efficiency.

Comments (5)

Morgan Solar is just one of the hundreds of CPV start-ups that CLAIM to have a new way of making solar much cheaper and more efficient by using smoke and mirrors. All of these companies have trousered millions of dollars from investors whilst delivering nothing but broken promises. CPV is the new dotcom swindle. Despite having trousered millions of dollars the photographs of the SunSimba look no better than a high school science project. The "factory" is a joke. Google SunCube Scam to find the original CPV scam. (and yes..I am quite ready to eat my hat if the SunSimba ever goes into production)
Apologies for the delay in answering your questions Michael Nicolas and Michael Neidich. In terms of the first - yes, absolutely, concentrating sunlight does bring with it higher temperatures. The Sun Simba brings in 900 suns concentration to the multi-junction cell at the optic's centre; however, at any given point the cell itself doesn't get much hotter than a conventional Silicon PV cell. There's two reasons for this: first, the cell is directly bonded to an aluminum heat sink on the back of the optic, which also functions as the racking system. Second, John Paul has a patent pending on what's called a Staggered Row arrangement of optic strings. If you look at the photo above you can get some idea of this - although feel free to contact me for better photos. A final point to make is the III-V cells perform much better at higher temperatures - for example, up to at least 55 degrees, they're functioning quite normally. For all these reasons, the Sun Simba will be a very attractive technology in places like Africa and India, where ambient temperatures are high, even before you factor in the concentration at the cell level. Second, this is not a fresnel lens. There is no depth of focus between the optic and the cell; we're not capturing an image of the sun like a lens, we are only capturing the photons - the Light-guide Solar Optic (LSO) is a non-imaging optic. The concept behind this is called Total Internal Reflection (TIR) - photons are transported to the centre of the panel through the optic, similar to how fibre optic cables work. The Sun Simba has a number of patents pending. The acrylic has been tested on-sun for almost 20 years in greenhouses, and the degradation factor compares favourably to silicon PV cells. Please call or e-mail me if you have any more questions. Best Regards, Emma Hemmingsen 416-203-1655
I was hoping someone from the company might have answered these questions by now.
It seems high concentration of light means higher temperatures. How is that handled?
It looks like you have placed a Fresnel lens in front of a smaller piece of silicon PV material. Is this patented, or even patentable? There are obvious cooling of the PV cell. Also, the plastic lens must be long-lived and functionally impervious to grime which accumulates. All in all, it looks like a good concept to lower cost, not just sizzle to collect investor money.

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