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Solar One Tours Prism Solar

prism_solar_holopanel1On Thursday February 21, Solar One took a day trip up the Hudson, stopping in Cold Spring for a meeting with ecoartspace and Habitats for Artists (more on that soon! Super cool top secret project in special undisclosed location!) on our way to meet the Eco-Pioneer in Poughkeepsie and a tour of the factory of Prism Solar.

Prism’s panels, which have just started to be commercially available, are unusually efficient due to their double-glass construction, which allows light to penetrate the panels, and the cells to collect additional light reflected from the panel’s underside.

Some panels also alternate strips of holographic film with the more conventional silicon wafers. While the holographs can’t collect electricity directly from sunlight, what they can do is be custom engineered to conduct the next most optimal wavelength of light to the panel, beyond the usual 42 degrees. This can increase the panel’s efficiency (the amount of electricity that a panel is capable of capturing) by up to 30%!

The other benefit of the Prism Solar holographic panels is aesthetic: When sunlight hits the panels, they emit rainbows on both sides, making them gorgeous as well as extra efficient. And these panels are not made in China, but right here in New York (with a little help from their offices in Tucson, AZ), so they create local jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advance the solar cause with their sweet design. Check out the photos below for a glimpse into how it’s all done.