Popular Science's Green "Grand Award Winner" this year is the super-thin "PowerSheet" solar panels from Nanosolar, which are both thin and inexpensive to produce. PowerSheet is printed on "sheets as thin as aluminum foil."
Nanosolar's cells use no silicon, and the company's manufacturing process allows it to create cells that are as efficient as most commercial cells for as little as 30 cents a watt. "You're talking about printing rolls of the stuff–printing it on the roofs of 18-wheeler trailers, printing it on garages, printing it wherever you want it," says Dan Kammen, founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley. "It really is quite a big deal in terms of altering the way we think about solar and in inherently altering the economics of solar."Now they need to mold this stuff directly into the plastic housings of gadgets to help keep the battery topped off. THE NEW DAWN OF SOLAR [PopSci.com]