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January 18, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

Watch out for the solar-powered laptop and pocket compact disk player – the US Energy Department reports that United Solar Systems Corp, a $6.26m three-year government-industry effort with Canon Inc and Energy Conversion Devices Inc of Troy, Michigan, has produced a new solar thin-film photovoltaic technology 100 times thinner than the conventional wafered silicon solar power technology; because the film is so thin, it uses less material, which cuts production costs, and can be spread on large sheets of low-cost material such as glass or stainless steel, so you can stick it on the roof and power your house from it; the solar panels will be manufactured at a new plant in Newport News, Virginia and could supply all daytime electric power needs of a south-facing house – and the technology is seen being used as the integral power source for things like photocopiers, facsimile machines, and flat-panel displays.

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