One of the big issues when the topic of eating healthy comes up is the problem of food coloring. Many of these colorings are actually poisons. The FDA has approved them because they are used in such small quantities that there is no apparent effect on our bodies. But color dyes are not all bad; they can be used, for instance… to create electricity.
Barry Breen’s Jerusalem-based company, 3GSolar (previously Orion Solar) exploits that “at sizes as small as 10 nanometers, the laws of physics take some interesting turns.” He told told Israel21c that he discovered that when light hits titanium oxide particles of this size coated with an organic dye that his cells have a photosynthesis-like outcome. “Just as a plant produces nourishment for itself when exposed to sunlight, our cells produce energy.”
The benefit of Orionsolar’s power cells over the ones currently in the market is, as most benefits are measured on the market, profit related. In order for their cells to be widely adopted they must produce electricity at a lower cost than what we are spending on fossil fuels. Their target “magic number” is 10 cents a kilowatt-hour, about a quarter of what residential rooftop silicon systems cost today.
But, at least at first, their breakthrough markets are not in competition with the current power moguls. Orionsolar wants to break into the market by providing affordable electricity for third world countries. And why not?
We, at GP, would like to give Barry a big pat on the back! Helping third world countries is sexy. His product is a product that does not need entire power grids to be built just to change the life of one family. Finally, it’s a completely untapped market, minimal competition.
Just because a country may be malaria stricken does not mean that it doesn’t deserve electricity. Sure $100 is more money than many in third world countries make in a year, but hey, people in the west take out mortgages all the time to buy houses.
Making solar power affordable should be a top priority! We can’t seem to get away from the sun so why not reap the benefits, especially in third world countries. But the whole point is to wean us off our dependency on fossil fuels. In addition to helping the people whose need for power is constantly growing as they become more advanced. We think that there is a potentially huge market of simple homeowners as well. People like you and me who would like to help keep their world healthy. Especially if they can save a few bucks while doing so.