in 1979 i was working for texas instruments in denver colorado. i was privy to a report about a new type of solar panel that T.I. had invented. it had some interesting characteristics. first, the panels were made of silicone beads instead of crystals. it made them cheaper to manufacture. it also made them less prone to defects, as a crack in a current solar panel kills the entire segment, a cracked bead only lost that bead, a very minor loss. the panels were +70% efficient. current panels are at best, 21% efficient. there was a gas or liquid placed in between the panel and it's outer glass protective cover. sunlight caused this material to generate hydrogen. the hydrogen was then siphoned off and stored, to be used at night to produce electricity. it was a truly 24 hour solution.
so what happened to this wonderful invention? don't know. maybe it's sitting in a vault at T.I. or maybe they sold it to a oil or gas producer who has locked it away. in any event, it has remained secret for over 35 years.
we could really use this technology. i wonder if there is any way of recovering it?