Google is devising a solar game changer that will enable the company to more quickly adopt renewable energy, and much less expensively.
Much the way the Internet company created its own breed of server that scaled easily and was cheaper to build, Google has been researching a way to make mirrors for solar arrays that will cost less than half the price of others on the market.
In fact, the mirrors may be as much as three or four times less expensive, Google’s green energy czar Bill Weihl said at the Reuters Global Climate and Alternative Energy Summit in San Francisco Sept. 9, Reuters reports.
The technology involves cutting the cost of heliostats, or giant fields of mirrors that are used in solar thermal technology.
Weihl said Google hopes to unveil its technology internally later this year. Within two to three years he said the goal is to have in place a pilot system that would show the technology can be manufactured to a scale that produces electricity at a cost of about five cents per kiloWatt hour, as compared to the 12-18 cents per kiloWatt hour that such technologies currently cost.
Google designed its own data centers using widely available and inexpensive components, that when linked together make for great computing power. Google calls them among the most efficient data centers in the world.