Almost there...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Crap!!!

I've been wondering for a while now what happened to Stanford and Iris Ovshinsky's company. They were working on some amazing solar panels that were flexible rather than fragile. He'd talked about building them into roof tiles that could be easily nailed on like normal roofing material and wired up. He invented the nickel metal hydride battery. He is also working on a hydrogen fuel cell that was fascinating. So I keep waiting to hear of new products being introduced to market, but things from Ovshinsky have been awfully quiet for the past few years. And I just figured out why.

GM bought a controlling share in his company 60%. GM censured Stan for announcing his advances in batteries to the world. GM sold their share off to Chevron/Texaco.

This breaks my heart. Stan (and his late wife Iris who died last year) Ovshinsky is a national treasure. If there's anyone on this whole damned planet who better deserves to be given an unlimited budget and turned loose to help us make a better world, they're it. Having them controlled by big oil breaks my heart.

I want my thin film solar roofing material. Now, dammit. Three years ago, I was really hoping that it'd be ready on the market by the time I needed to reroof my little house. The prospect is looking dimmer and dimmer.

Why can't the oil companies understand that they can make money from other fuels in addition to oil?

2 Comments:

  • Other people are working on the same thing. I think if you look up thin film solar, you'll find it.

    I guess solar energy is to oil companies, what digital media is to recording companies. Something that could put them out of business that they don't know how to control yet.

    By Blogger Chris, at 10:07 AM  

  • I want my thin film solar roofing material. Now, dammit. Three years ago, I was really hoping that it'd be ready on the market by the time I needed to reroof my little house. The prospect is looking dimmer and dimmer.

    Actually, GM's acquisition of Ovshinsky's NiMH battery technology is good for his solar panel development. It gave him capital and focused his work. The Ovshinsky family retain control of the company's voting shares.

    In any case, the battery patent expires in two years and Li-ion batteries appear to have significant advantages over NiMH technology.

    By Blogger Michael, at 12:29 PM  

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