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"magnification is out."
19 apr 1999
joel davidson   pronounced:

>...magnification is out.

well, bullshit. on the internet, an assertion demands no more than a
counterassertion. going beyond assertions to reasons, one hard lower limit
to pv prices is the silicon area needed to gather sun, so combining them
with inexpensive mirrors as in's non-tracking hybrid panel
that uses half the usual number of pvs and some 2:1 mirror troughs to make
150 watts electric and 1600 watts of water heating can make more sense than
the usual way of doing things.

i pointed this out to joel by email, but he chose to ignore the reasoning,
simply saying that concentrators haven't sold well in the past, compared to
his vast sales of conventional systems. but there are many ways to do
something wrong, and unfortunate examples don't disprove the inherent worth
of a technique. 

and joel seems egocentric to me, and maybe "often wrong but never in doubt,"
like the detroit captains of industry hell-bent on selling gas guzzlers, or
western union's first president, who said to alexander graham bell "$8,000
is a ridiculous price for this invention of yours. nobody would choose to
talk with another person on this 'telephone,' when they can simply send
a telegram." 

joel bridled at this comparison, and pronounced that our email correspondence
was "terminated" :-) i'd say save your 5,000 bucks...


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