Today's mint inteview was with Mr Charles Gay VP and general manager , solar business group , at applied materials inc , the california based technology solution firm .Mr charles was in Mumbai to participate in a conference on advances in energy research at the IIT , Mumbai .
Applied Material Inc is a global leader in nanomanufacturing technology solutions with a broad portfolio of innovative equipment, service and software products for the fabrication of semiconductor chips, flat panel displays, solar photovoltaic cells, flexible electronics and energy efficient glass.
The talk was about advancement in solar technologies which will replace the traditional source of energy .I was surprised to read about a material called SunFab .SunFab is a thin layer of silicon atoms .
It will replace the huge solar panels which is the only image i get whenever i think about solar energy but research is going to redefine the old boundaries and create a world beyond our imagination . These materials will redefine the way we built and the way we perceive our habitable spaces .
Applied Material Inc got Green Innovator award for SunFab.
The thickness of the film is approximately 10 nanometers which is 10,000 times thinner than human hair .The film is so thin that it can be applied on the huge glass facades of the buildings . According to Mr Charles only 10% of installation of this film is on facades of the buildings .
There can be few reasons for it :-
1. Lack of awareness among architects about this technology .
2. Lack of availability of the material ( in Indian context ) .
3. The installation cost which can scare the client and force architects to go for cheaper materials .
4. Lack of risk taking ability ( can be in architect or client ).
Advanced glass manufacturing processes, developed by Applied Materials Glass Coating Products, allow glass manufacturers to produce revolutionary new glass products that enhance the energy efficiency of homes and offices.
Applied Materials’ state-of-the-art vacuum coating systems for the architectural and automotive glass industry allow glass manufacturers to produce large area (up to 3.2M x 6M) functional glass with solar-control and variations of low-e coatings and increased performance at reduced coating costs per unit.
Another question was about the capital investment in solar power by Venture capitalist firms . (Khosla Partners)got venture fund for renewable energy .Vinod Khosla's Khosla partners had already invested in 26 renewable energy startup's . The whole list of the startup's can be found here