By MB-BigB | March 14, 2010
Google.org, the company’s philanthropic group, has been investing in alternative power research for awhile now. Recently, Google came out with a pretty significant announcement – they’ve developed a prototype mirror that could cut the cost of solar thermal power in half. In any solar thermal plant, the mirrors are the most expensive part, and its the mirrors that do most of the work – they focus the sunlight on the liquid that powers the turbines. Bill Weihl, Google’s green energy czar, told Reuters that Google feels that these new mirrors could cut the cost of a solar thermal plant in half. While they’re not providing many details, Google is saying that the company has been using “unusual materials” for both the mirrored surface and the substrate – which might mean no metal and no glass in the Google mirrors. Weihl feels that their prototype could be market ready in one to three years, in which case the Google mirrors could certainly be used by both BrightSource Energy and eSolar – the two largest solar thermal companies in the US and two companies that Google has invested a substantial amount of money in.