Lin’s discovery could antiquate these automated solar arrays, as his antireflective coating absorbs sunlight evenly and equally from all angles. This means that a stationary solar panel treated with the coating would absorb 96.21 percent of sunlight no matter the position of the sun in the sky. So along with significantly better absorption of sunlight, Lin’s discovery could also enable a new generation of stationary, more cost-efficient solar arrays.
That is just so cool. I’m an evil Republican, so I know I’m supposed to be into raping the earth or something. But being from Montana, I learned that you can rape tiny little parts of the earth to satisfy Fat Cat greed, and leave the rest pristine and beautiful. And being raised by Science Fiction books, I also understand that if you can achieve what is pretty much unlimited power, lots of environmental protection techniques suddenly become economically viable. Toxic and nuclear waste are a non-issue if you have enough cheap energy to aid in the disposal.
However, as cool as this advance is, it merely “… moves solar power a significant step forward toward economic viability,” as the article says. 😦
Right now, two of the biggest problems are manufacturing costs, and power transmission. And I still think energy will eventually be provided through nuclear reactors, either pebble-bed fission or perhaps fusion (someday). But cost-effective solar power would be a nice intermediate step, or a great way to allow people to live off the grid and power their personal vehicles…