Clearly, the idea isn't obviously good. To decide if it's good isn't a matter of inspection, either. If you'd like to decide whether or not this is such a great idea, replace the cylindrical cross section of the Solyndra design with either a flat plate of the same diameter, or if you like, an surface with an angle of perhaps 120 degrees. Then point this surface towards noon, and calculate the effective surface area compared to a cylindrical surface. Then you can decide whether or not the cylinder is a good idea. I haven't done this calculation, but perhaps I will.
Since when does every new invention require the support of the government to be developed? If an idea cannot support itself, why should you and I support it? Is this what it has come to? A new product doesn't have to attract investors, it just has to have enough friends in the government to warrant spending taxpayer's money. As a result, the market no longer determines what is valuable and what is dross: some ignorant civil servant picks winners on the basis of what he hears on television, or what his boss tells him to back. Remember that the originator of the weed whacker (string trimmer) couldn't get a patent because some dolt of a judge decided that the string trimmer idea was "obvious". So much for government insight into technology.
What a pity... this global leader, winner of a Nobel prize for, um, something, leader and defender of Fast and Furious, defender of illegal aliens against the state of Arizona, this monarch among men, will lose an election just because of a little mistake on a solar power company? There's just no justice in this world.
During my trips in China in recent years, I saw this type of solar design every where. If that is what Solyndra is proud of, one should not have hard time to understand why it fails.http://www.uk-power-battery.co.uk
Well I am sure that there are a number of factors with the failure of Solyndra for me it was simple: Government should not be involved with "investing" in any company. The normal channels of investment are far better capable of understanding and evaluating risks and viability of start-up companies/new technologies than ANY Federal/State/Local government entity!! Let this be a warning for future government meddling: taxpayer beware!
This article brings to mind a previous one, about tradeoffs in engineering design. As I opined then, no design is without tradeoffs. Any designers knows this intrinsically.
These solar panels are no exception. Obviously, a flat panel oriented optimally will be more efficient. Just as obviously, the installation will be more difficult. And, depending on the obsessive-compulsive tendencies of the homeowner, the level of personal stress during storms would be considerable lower for the Solyndra panel owner.
I have very serious doubts about this particular "federated" model for "going green." Going green, by depending on average individuals to own and maintain more of the infrastructure, seems doomed to failure. My prediction is, the average joe will be all enthusiastic in his new display of social consciousness to neighbors, at first. He will then become bored with the exercise, let the once-new hardware take its passive course, and soon enough tear it all down in a search for a simpler life (and reducing what has by now become an eye sore).
Some people are able to predict this behavior sooner than others, never intending to jump on the bandwagon. We got away from backyard wells, coal or even oil burning furnaces, candles and kerosene lamps, splitting logs and then cooking on wood fires, and so on, for some very good reasons. It just seems extremely risky to base a business model on people going backwards, in this regard.
The government is not particularly adept at business oriented risk assessment. Politicians think and act on slogans and hype, not business acumen. The voter needs to internalize this and make decisions apprpriately (IMO, naturally).
The idea is good . This design seems that the coverage is from almost from sun raise to sun set. I feel that the tube diameters can be increased for better efficiency and with a little more strong mounting.