I believe it’s mandatory for every child to do the ol’ sun through the magnifying glass experiment… Some would express their inner carnage and fry a grasshopper or ant.  Others would melt a plastic toy… I, in total honesty, started a good sized brush fire at my middle school with nothing more than a magnifying glass and a homework assignment (I’ve always been a hands on learner!).

So what can we learn from our youthful curiosity?  And can we use it for good?  Well… a lot and yes!  Our friends at Sunrgi have done just that.  They have created a revolutionary way of producing photovoltaic energy, utilizing this magnification process to concentrate sunlight directly into a PV cell.


This process, called Xtreme Concentrated Photovoltaics (XCPV) dramatically increases the efficiency of solar energy.  37% is their claimed efficiency rate… this blows traditional solar systems out of the water, as they generally max out in the 15% range.

This increased efficiency also drastically reduces costs… Replacing expensive PV components like silicon with cheaper materials like glass, Sunrgi is capable of reaching the 5 cents per kWh range.  This is a huge number, as it represents the current cost of producing electricity through coal, natural gas, and other polluting non-renewable resources…. A Sunrgi system will also take up 1/16th of the space a traditional solar setup would use, exponentially increasing the productivity per square foot of install.

Sunrgi is fine tuning their product and is looking to roll out within the next year… They’re looking to hit the big boys first… corporations, public utilities, government institutions, etc.  They also have their eyes on the residential market, recognizing that their PV systems could be on rooftops across America.  Wherever their systems go, it will be a huge asset to our energy independence and take significant pressure off of our carbon output… Word!


About Joshua Foss

Joshua is a leading voice for transformational change. He is the editor of Metro Hippie, co-founder and director of development of the Ecala Group, and adjunct faculty at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He is also an ambassador for the Living Building Challenge and is a frequent speaker at national conferences, trade shows and summits.