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Solar Cells — Made In a Pizza Oven

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the because-you-can dept.

Power 518

stylemessiah writes "The winner of several Eureka Science Awards in Australia is a crafty chick who devised a way to create solar cells cheaply using a pizza oven, nail polish and an inkjet printer. This was developed to address the high cost of cells and in particular for the world's poorest regions. She wanted to give the ~2 billion people around the world who don't have electricity the gift of light and cheap energy. This could have profound (and a good profound) implications for education and health in those in the poorest regions in the world. And it all started with her parents giving her a solar energy kit when she was 10..."

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518 comments

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"Crafty chick" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24687929)

Cue the feminazis on 3... 2... 1...

Re:"Crafty chick" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24687983)

Nazis.... Oven... First Post...

And you avoided a Jew joke. Dumbass.

Re:"Crafty chick" (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688041)

The term 'feminazis' is sexist and demeaning. We demand to be called pro-female Fascists. From hereon in anyone who utters that degrading neologism will be executed without trial by way of snoo-snoo.

Pig.

Re:"Crafty chick" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688121)

will be executed without trial by way of snoo-snoo.

You Promise?

crafty chick? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24687937)

I guess the submitter was also Australian.

Second post?

Re:crafty chick? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688089)

Nah. In that case she would have been a crafty sheila.

Re:crafty chick? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688549)

I realize you're (in your American way) trying to be funny, I feel I have to point out that 'chick' is a more common slang word to describe a...well chick than 'sheila'.

Ftw. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24687947)

"... is a crafty chick ..."

Sexism ftw.

Competitive with Nanosolar? (5, Insightful)

DrMrLordX (559371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24687951)

Last time I checked, they had already figured out how to produce low-cost solar cells. They're already shipping. The tech mentioned in the article may take 5 years to fully commercialize.

Re:Competitive with Nanosolar? (5, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688099)

Yeah, but this one is wayyy cool because I'm fairly certain she came up with it after watching an episode of MacGyver....

Re:Competitive with Nanosolar? (1)

Sabathius (566108) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688381)

Are you sure it wasn't Macgruber [hulu.com] ?

Re:Competitive with Nanosolar? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688477)

Chick eh?

Tits or GTFO.

how many (5, Funny)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 6 years ago | (#24687957)

How many solar cells do you need to power a pizza oven, anyway?

Re:how many (4, Insightful)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688083)

How many solar cells do you need to power a pizza oven, anyway?

It's not so much the number of cells you'd need to power the oven, that's important. It's whether or not one oven load of cells could produce more energy over the entire lifetime of the cells than the energy it took to bake them.

I have no idea oft he numbers involved myself, but put like that, it doesn't seem nearly so ridiculous. Hell, the cells might still be worth making, even if you loose power on the deal; just think of them as very long life batteries.

Re:how many (4, Insightful)

Emb3rz (1210286) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688173)

  1. Recycle the thermal energy radiated from the oven
  2. Utilize renewable energy sources to power the oven
  3. After oven is completely 'free,' deploy cells to countries that need it

To respond to your other point.. do you mean functional lifetime or projected lifetime? I can easily see them in their projected lifetime compensating for the energy used to bake them. However, their functional lifetime may be significantly lower than projected, either due to natural disasters or the onset of Armageddon.

I'm being serious. Funny mods will not be appreciated. -Eric

Re:how many (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688307)

I'm being serious. Funny mods will not be appreciated. -Eric

I'm sure someone will appreciate them.

Re:how many (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688333)

However, their functional lifetime may be significantly lower than projected, either due to natural disasters or the onset of Armageddon.
or just the fact that it is new tech that can't have had it's lifetime properly characterised yet.

accelerated aging tests will give a rough approximation but IMO they are no substitute for real data from the field.

Re:how many (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688663)

1. Recycle the thermal energy radiated from the oven

Why would you let your oven radiate energy? This is not a data center, use insulation.

2. Utilize renewable energy sources to power the oven

...Like solar panels? The point was that by the time you produce 15 new solar panels, maybe 20 of your solar panels have reached their endlife.

3. After oven is completely 'free,' deploy cells to countries that need it

All nice words, but they don't combine into something coherent.

Re:how many (3, Informative)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688657)

Unless the solar cells die out very quickly, that's pretty easy to manage. Pizza ovens hardly take an impressive amount of energy to run and benefit from scaling.

Re:how many (5, Insightful)

sjhs (453964) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688105)

How many solar cells do you need to power a pizza oven, anyway?

How about two sticks and some kindling [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:how many (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688281)

Oh wait thats still Solar power. Trees need sun too.

Re:how many (1)

sjhs (453964) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688317)

Yes, but trees currently cost less than solar cells.

Re:how many (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688427)

very slow solar.

Right... (-1, Troll)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#24687963)

She wants to help the poor people of the world.

So, she found a process that uses cheap, easily accessible parts that would allow people in poor countries to help themselves.

And she patented it. So she can commercialize it.

Fuck off and die, bitch.

Re:Right... (5, Insightful)

m3j00 (606453) | more than 6 years ago | (#24687979)

Heaven forbid anyone seek financial benefit for their innovations...

Re:Right... (4, Insightful)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688027)

That's perfectly fine, actually, just as long as you don't claim to be doing everything for the sake of the poorest people on the planet. That's a contradiction.

Re:Right... (2, Insightful)

Cillian (1003268) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688047)

Well, fair enough, but she can stop playing the "For the good of all mankind" card, which is probably what caused her to win at least one of the awards.

Re:Right... (5, Insightful)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688405)

Why? Let's say she didn't patent it, just released it to public domain. At the moment, the cells she has can be made inexpensively, out of cheap components. What happens when GreedyDeepPockets Corp decides to get into the business? It drives the cost UP, for everyone (for the raw materials at least). Now, let's say she does have a patent. She can decide who can produce it. Maybe she makes license terms that say for the first 5 years it can only be used to provide electricity for people who don't currently have it. Try not to get your panties in a knot every time you see the word 'patent'.

Re:Right... (2, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688651)

Why? Let's say she didn't patent it, just released it to public domain. At the moment, the cells she has can be made inexpensively, out of cheap components. What happens when GreedyDeepPockets Corp decides to get into the business? It drives the cost UP, for everyone (for the raw materials at least).

Right. The big evil corporation is going to make these things at 10 times the price. Hmm... how will they get people to buy when the people could just make their own. I know... they're going to corner the market on pizza ovens and nail polish.

Now, let's say she does have a patent. She can decide who can produce it. Maybe she makes license terms that say for the first 5 years it can only be used to provide electricity for people who don't currently have it.

Right. That's going to get those big businesses to make the things and sell them for dirt, to people who have nothing but dirt.

Try not to get your panties in a knot every time you see the word 'patent'.

There are three utilities for a patent.

Using it to set up a monopolistic business and pricing the device higher than Cost+ReasonableProfit.
Selling it to an existing business so they can do so.
Patent trolling, supporting a leisurely lifestyle by placing a perpetual tax on those who would like to bring these devices to the citizenry of the world without continuing to productively participate in society.

This is an assault on the worlds poor. Plain and simple. The sort of thing you see in a world that is based on the rule of law, rather than the willing co-operation of free men and women. It's scummy, all the more so because it's being presented as the antithesis of what it actually is.

Re:Right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688145)

Wouldn't that make her idea thinking INSIDE the square though? Don't brag about how much of a humanitarian you are if you are just in it for the money.

Re:Right... (5, Insightful)

halfEvilTech (1171369) | more than 6 years ago | (#24687991)

She wants to help the poor people of the world.

So, she found a process that uses cheap, easily accessible parts that would allow people in poor countries to help themselves.

And she patented it. So she can commercialize it.

Fuck off and die, bitch.

Just because you patent it that doesn't mean you have to charge an arm and a leg for it. Some people simply get a patent so others can't steal their idea. Say some gready corp who says hey this is cheap and effective and we can make a fortune even if we up the cost 5000% or more.

Re:Right... (5, Insightful)

fotbr (855184) | more than 6 years ago | (#24687997)

She's a PhD student -- she probably didn't have any choice in the matter, as the patent is probably held by the university.

AU postgrads own their IP (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688273)

In most Australian Universities the postgraduate student owns the IP. I can't find the equivalent for UNSW, but here [usyd.edu.au] is the University of Sydney's policy (a close competitor to UNSW). It is quite clear that by default postgraduate students own their results.

Re:Right... (1)

pzs (857406) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688491)

Universities used to be about learning and donating knowledge that would benefit mankind back to the creative commons.

Now, Universities are having to survive in a cut-throat commercial environment. In the UK, they do this by gouging international students on fees for their education, but also by having teams of commercialisation droids hovering over post-docs and PhD students, waiting to make money out of their ideas.

It's particularly sad because the vast majority of PhD students I meet are not commercially minded at all. They just want to do good science. These are the people who don't realise that the IP agreement they're signing means that the University now owns their thoughts, dreams and lives.

Re:Right... (5, Insightful)

njfuzzy (734116) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688225)

I wish I could spend mod points to send an electric shock to especially bad posters.

Re:Right... (1)

Wiseazz (267052) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688591)

I suspect that would have implications for your karma.

Yeah but... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24687967)

MacGyver would have done it with just the nail polish.

Re:Yeah but... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24687999)

MacGyver would have done it with just the nail polish.

I always had my doubts about that guy. Now you confirm it, he carries nail polish. What a wuss!

energy crisis finally solved! (5, Funny)

alisoul (923488) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688005)

now we just need to figure out how to get every poor country an abundance of pizza ovens, nail polish and inkjet printers

Re:energy crisis finally solved! (5, Funny)

Cormacus (976625) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688053)

Well the inkjet printers should be easy . . . just hit up the dumpsters on college campuses right as the semester is ending . . .

Re:energy crisis finally solved! (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688563)

Or graduated slashdotters' basements.

Re:energy crisis finally solved! (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688463)

OH, and also the delivery means of transportation to all those towns too!

Re:energy crisis finally solved! (1)

Dex5791 (973984) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688511)

We probably throw away most of that on a daily basis. Now the dumpster divers will have something to look for besides cans.

Terrible summary (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688007)

What is @2 billion? is that a profound(a good profound) mistake?

Seriously though, can't Taco take a few seconds to read any of this? My eyes hurt.

blah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688017)

Nerd

Patented? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688019)

Is use of this research patented?

Crafty chick? (1, Insightful)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688025)

Aaaaaughhhhhh!
Condescend much?

Chick? (4, Insightful)

djbckr (673156) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688029)

Why use a lame term like that? Women are just as smart as men and when they do something brilliant they are recognized as something special because they happen to be a woman. So we have to do something like call them "Chick" to degrade them.... Well, that's how I feel anyway. Flame away! And yes, I'm male.

Re:Chick? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688067)

and yes, you don't get laid.

Re:Chick? (5, Funny)

Emb3rz (1210286) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688093)

And yes, I'm male.

*checks URL* Yep, still Slashdot.

Mod parent redundant! :P

Re:Chick? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688189)

Actually I usually say...

That's an amazing hypothesis miss.... Wow nice boobs! give me a twirl so I can see your rear.

niiiiiice....

Re:Chick? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688469)

I don't know, it struck me as more an Aussie thing -- but then, I didn't read the summary, and I think I've actually managed to make it worse.

Re:Chick? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688487)

Should be: I didn't read TFA.

Ok, I'm not going to post before 10 AM... ever again.

Re:Chick? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688497)

So...you're one of those "Don't call me a chick" chicks, huh?

-Bart Simpson.

Re:Chick? (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688547)

I suppose you love that Russian judge who ruled that sexual harassment by an employer was not immoral as harassment has always been part of the human reproductive process and that a failure to harass would be immoral. So much for burning one's bras!

Re:Chick? (3, Insightful)

db32 (862117) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688551)

Because ultrawhiney people like you get offended by it more than many of the "chicks" being called "chicks" do and it amuses us to watch it.

Seriously...the notion that there are bad words to use is mindboggling. Ok...so lets all get together and ban those nasty words, and then they will be replaced and other words will be used instead. I have heard the word "woman" used in a derogatory fashion more than I have heard the word "chick" used in the same way. So when will people wake up and realize that the actual words being used are just a method for communicating a particular idea or feeling and that changing those words will not change the idea or feeling being communicated.

So I could go with calling you an emotional male making irrational claims about degrading women, or just say whiney bitch. Same statement, but one is clearly more efficient.

Re:Chick? (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688565)

I thought the same thing for a moment, but really it is no more degrading than calling a man 'dude'. A lot of girls also refer to themselves as chicks. It's not that big a deal, though I would have prefered they used the term 'woman'.

Re:Chick? (4, Insightful)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688589)

Chick isn't inherently derogatory on the part of the speaker. i use it to mean 'a female who is neither a girl, nor an old lady'. My girlfriend uses it the same way. Think of it as the English equivalent to Mademoiselle. On it's own it is as derogatory as dude. If the speaker uses it as a pejorative or to be dismissive, that it the speaker, not the word. People can do that with any word. Just as anything can be taken too far or misused. Put in the hands of humans and something bad might happen. If a listener takes offense when none is intended, that's on the listener. Sometimes people LIKE to be offended. They get off on it. Some people act offended to impress their friends, or some chick at the bar. "Oh, he's a feminist".

And it is odd that we make special note of achievement when a 'minority' does something. For some reason we care that [person] is the first [label] to do something. If a white guy does something, so what? If it is novel that someone of x group did something, like say, a child composing a concerto, then sure... mention away. Otherwise i think by now we as a culture should be over it. Never underestimate the power of guilt.

Re:Chick? (5, Informative)

Icarium (1109647) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688623)

I don't know what part of the world the submitter is from, but round here (South Africa) calling someone a "chick" is no more or less offensive or degrading than calling a man a "guy". Minor cultural difference, but it does make a lot of these "OMG Sexism" comments a bit confusing.

Re:Chick? (5, Funny)

kungfugleek (1314949) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688641)

Why, that's a terrible thing. I don't know how many time I've told those boys, never call broads chicks.

Sorry, Al. [imdb.com]

Sexist and trivializing characterization. (1, Insightful)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688045)

Just so nobody gets the idea that this woman could be a scientist with an important breakthrough, let's refer to her as a "chick" from now on. Or maybe a "babe." In fact, why not emulate Don Imus and call her a "goggle-eyed ho"?

C'mon, Taco. Join the fucking twenty-first century.

Re:Sexist and trivializing characterization. (2, Insightful)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688295)

"C'mon, Taco. Join the fucking twenty-first century."

Does that mean I can't use the term 'dude' anymore? It's just so 1800's.

Re:Sexist and trivializing characterization. (0, Flamebait)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688377)

No, you can't. Not if you want anyone to take what you have to say seriously.

Re:Sexist and trivializing characterization. (2, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688533)

Dude!

Re:Sexist and trivializing characterization. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688297)

You know, it would be a lot more likely for people like Taco to catch on if there weren't plenty of women even in tech circles with "Chick" in their username. Hell, what about DevChix [devchix.com] who actually complain about sexism a fair bit?

Just because you find it demeaning, it doesn't mean all women do. Some women happily self-identify as "chicks".

Re:Sexist and trivializing characterization. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688359)

No, 'chick' is a normal Australian usage with no sexist connotations.

It's normal to hear Australian women refer to each other as 'chick'.

Re:Sexist and trivializing characterization. (4, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688401)

Hey, dude, I know a lot of really smart chicks. Some chicks I know are even nerds. So don't get your panties in a twist, babe.

Re:Sexist and trivializing characterization. (4, Insightful)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688429)

C'mon, EWAdams. You are really only person here who didn't noticed this "scientist" is damn hot chick? Why is it bad? If there was Usain Bolt baking solar cells instead of her, would it be also not correct to mention this guy is scientist *and* very fast, I mean "lets just keep on subject, his above-average physical abilities are not limitation of any kind in science and we should never mention it in 21. century!"

Re:Sexist and trivializing characterization. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688557)

Interesting... call someone a "chick" and several are quick to get offended, but porn is mentioned in some way in most stories/comments on this site, without so much as a peep from the pc crowd. I guess that degrading women is pretty disgusting as long as its a different kind of degradation than what the porn crowd does routinely.

Re:Sexist and trivializing characterization. (5, Insightful)

alexgieg (948359) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688655)

Join the fucking twenty-first century.

This might sound like nitpicking, but people seeing women as equal to men isn't a "twenty-first century" concept. In fact, 2400 years ago Plato was already defending that, for example, if a woman is capable of governing a state, she should be allowed to, not blocked because of her sex.

We should stop being chronocentrists, which is as much a discriminatory state of mind as ethnocentrism. A given year, or a collection of years, has no attached value. Something happening "in the 21st century" isn't better just because it's happening "after" whatever came before. Ideas, such as that women and men must have equal rights, must be judged in themselves, not because of when they appeared, or when they became mainstream, or when they stopped being mainstream, or whatever.

So, while I agree with your sentiment, I must disagree with the way you express it. Calling for someone to change his behavior because of the "age" or "era" in which he lives is to incur in the "appeal to authority" fallacy. In fact, the only intellectually correct approach is to defend an idea by its own merits, not dwelling into its "ageity" at all.

Do more, or less, than this, and what you'll be doing won't be a rational defense of an idea, but merely a rhetorical one. In other words, politics, not reason.

Smart, and hot. (3, Funny)

scubamage (727538) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688057)

Well, she is pretty hot. I'd tap that solar energy if you know what I mean.

Re:Smart, and hot. (1, Troll)

Bombula (670389) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688413)

I'd bake one in her oven, if you know what I mean.

Impressive (5, Insightful)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688085)

That's impressive. Though there seem to be scant details on efficiency and cost comparisons (I'm assuming this is more environmentally friendly to make as well as much cheaper).

Of course, it would of been more impressive if full details were diclosed online for people to take advantage of.

Is it possible to have your patent cake and eat it? The woman is clearly a brilliant engineer and deserves full credit for her work, she also states a worthwhile desire to help people across the world. So is it possible for her to obtain full commercial protection for her invention and then release all the details free for non-commercial use and reduced license fees for the third world? This would be ideal.

After all, no technology is going to change the lifestyles of poor people if they cannot afford to buy/license it.

On the other hand it would be unfair if she learned the Trevor Bayliss lesson the hard way - really clever little gadget swamped by low cost clones from asia from which he gained not a penny. As always I guess the big winners were the lawyers.

MacGuyver would be proud... (0)

LSD-OBS (183415) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688091)

Even if she is a Sheila!

More info (5, Informative)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688095)

When asked to describe the process she says "To pattern the cell we spray on something like nail polish and then inkjet print a kind of nail polish remover which lets us etch certain parts of the wafer. This creates a metallisation pattern so we can deposit aluminium on the back surface of the solar cell and create our metal contacts to both the P and N-type silicon simultaneously using a very cheap, low temperature pizza oven! And hey presto we've created a simple, low-cost solar cell without having to use expensive high tech equipment or high temperature processes!"

(from here [amonline.net.au] )

Re:More info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688455)

And later on in the same article:

Leading international
company Suntech Power is
funding research into the iJet
cell design. Nicole Kuepper will
be relying on this funding next
year, as she moves beyond test
structures to create the physical
cell and discover how efficient
it is.

Highly respectful (1, Insightful)

elgatozorbas (783538) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688137)

You call a girl that developed a new process to manufacture colar cells "A crafty chick"? Higly respectful.

Re:Highly respectful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688647)

"Colar Cells"...
could easily become the next big thing in S&M...

Hot! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688167)

Here's [unsw.edu.au] another photo minus the huge goggles.

You almost had me.... (4, Funny)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688179)

"The winner of several Eureka Science Awards in Australia is a crafty chick who devised a way to create solar cells cheaply using a pizza oven, nail polish and an inkjet printer."

Afforable but uses an Inkjet Printer? You almost fooled me there. With the cost of ink being what it is, it'll be cheaper to just go out and buy a solar cell.

Re:You almost had me.... (1)

Emb3rz (1210286) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688219)

See http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=652803&cid=24688095 [slashdot.org] above. It's not actually using Ink, just the Inkjet printer.

Re:You almost had me.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688363)

If there was an Edit button, I would be compelled to whoosh myself.

-Emb3rz

sterling (4, Insightful)

eekygeeky (777557) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688203)

headline:

female: "crafty chick turns out clever "invention", wants to "help people" - awwww!"

hypothetical:

male: "a thrifty, socially motivated boy genius has turned industry on its head with an astounding demonstration of scientific innovation and prowess beyond his years."

Re:sterling (1)

Tomboni (1298637) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688313)

Spot on!

Re:sterling (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688439)

male: "a thrifty, socially motivated dude has turned industry on its head with an astounding demonstration of scientific innovation and prowess beyond his years."

Re:sterling (2, Informative)

gunnk (463227) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688471)

Nicely put!

The article summary and many of the comments are just really disappointing. Did the average IQ on Slashdot drop 20 points?

Great news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688241)

Now all poor people without electricity can simply print their own solar cells on their inkjet printers!

Pity they did not print the details (3, Interesting)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688261)

If you do a little digging, you find there is far less to this story than you might think.

All the lady did is develop a simple way of printing electrical contacts onto the silicon surface.

That's a mighty small part of the overall cell's cost. It's not going to bring cell prices down so the "2 billion" can afford them. heck, the top 2 billion can't afford them.

Re:Pity they did not print the details (4, Insightful)

objekt (232270) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688383)

Link us up, bro'! Or are you just poo-pooing any progress in reducing the cost of solar cells yet again [slashdot.org] ? Yeah, I did a little digging. ;-)

Re:Pity they did not print the details (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688555)

Ahhh... I understood now. The summary lacks 80% of "full" notice. anyone, "bad summary" on this topic, please.

Not so altruistic? (3, Insightful)

gambit3 (463693) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688283)

First quote:
"I love working with passionate people who want to help address climate change and poverty"

Second quote:
"it could take five years to commercialise the patented technology"

Re:Not so altruistic? (0)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688399)

Well it's easier to "bend the truth a bit" when "changing climate". After all the EU's policy is at best a bad joke too, and it's heralded as the second coming on just about every (esp. left-leaning) press everywhere.

After all co2 reduction goals are set for 2050, at which time we'll have about 15% of the oil we now have, so we're pretty much guaranteed to succeed in reducing co2 output by 85% by then, without lifting a finger.

But some reduction is a "fantastic leap forward" according to BOTH Obama and McCain.

I can give the poor of the world energy ... (4, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688355)

for a lot cheaper. All I need is a bunch of guys with shovels, and a boat, and we can give the world's poor good old coal. It's our environmental priorities, which we choose, that make energy more expensive. If we all could tolerate soot filled cities, like London in 1880, we could have dirt cheap heat and light and electricity just by burning coal and sometimes making steam with it for power.

The point is, when people make announcements like this, its not to give poor people the most energy, it is rather to give them energy that is fundamentally more expensive, but to lower that window as much as possible.

So let's not say that we are giving the poor the "cheapest energy possible", because, that's not what we're doing.

But who would profit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24688461)

We can't have just anybody making power. We have to have giant solar collectors behind big fences and huge farms of giant windmills with wires, miles and miles of wires and big towers and meters to track and charge money for power...

Why does she hate America so much to think that people actually want to generate their own power? America wants monopolistic power companies to build and provide expensive, unreliable power systems to developing nations.

Article misses one thing (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688501)

HOW she makes a solar cell from pizza oven and inkjet printer? the most basic in science is show how to do to anyone (with time and resources, off course) try too and see if works or not.

Or maybe is "hard-vaporware" (hardware + vapor)

what the hell? (4, Insightful)

Pope (17780) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688531)

"She wanted to give the @2 billion people around the world who dont have electricity the gift of light and cheap energy."

What does "@2 billion" mean? "At two billion?" Maybe "~2 billion?"

what type of substrate? (1)

tallvegdude (750761) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688615)

What I don't see is any mention of whether she is printing onto silicon wafers. If its silicon wafers, then this is just a PR opportunity by a university. Presumably her patent application will become visible in another year and we'll be able to tell.

Too bad it's patented (1)

thepacketmaster (574632) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688639)

Otherwise this would be a great DIY thing.

solar energy kit should be banned (0)

hany (3601) | more than 6 years ago | (#24688665)

And it all started with her parents giving her a solar energy kit when she was 10..."

Now that clearly illustrates that purchase of solar energy kits should be outlawed or at least limited in a similar fashion as distribution of chemical kits, etc.

You know, think of the children ... what if they harm themselves with a high voltage they may generated with such kits?

Or what if some terrorist got hold of 'em?

...

You know, I'm kidding. But still such course of action (i.e. banning such kit) may still happen for millions of reasons "our" (and "their") representatives can come up with.

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