Sun Above the Horizon: Meteoric Rise of the Solar Industry Paperback – May 23 2014
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About the Author
Dr. Peter F. Varadi escaped from Hungary in 1956 and, after a scientific carrier in 1968, was appointed head of the Communication Satellite Corporation’s (COMSAT’s) chemistry laboratory in the US. In this function he also participated in research on photovoltaic (PV) solar cells, which were used to power satellites. In 1973 he co-founded SOLAREX Corporation in Rockville, Maryland to develop the utilization of solar cells (PV) for terrestrial applications. SOLAREX was one of two companies that pioneered this field. In 1983, it was the largest PV company in the world when it was sold to AMOCO. Varadi continued consulting for Solarex for ten years, and after that for the European Commission, The World Bank, and NREL, among other organizations. In 2004, in recognition of his lifelong service to the global PV sector and his continuing commitment to strive for excellence in the PV industry, received the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) John Bonda prize.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book is too rich in accounts of business meetings for me. I don’t need to know in such detail the lunches and dinners. Though I’m glad to learn that in Geneva when there are 5 chairs, one with a pillow that’s the chair for the dog.
Water pumping in the Sahel and Sahara are particularly interesting to Varadi and his wide ranging curiosity and experience make these chapters of great interest. I want to mine Varadi and Solarex for the last details of technology, money, world economics, and international power but keep finding he has no secrets beyond the courage to try. We already know what to do, but lack Varadi’s courage to do it.
I wish Varadi had an editor. Does Pam Stanford publishing do without editors? Varadi repeatedly and flagrantly misuses the word quality. The phrase “quality panel” needs an adjective. Good quality, bad quality? Quality is an adverb not an adjective. Varadi uses quality as an adverb when he wants. Technology, economics, and language are of great importance using words correctly is as important as connecting wires the right way.
What innovators Lindmayer and Varadi were, staking everything on polycrystalline rather than single crystal PV panels.
For me single crystal vs polycrystal is an essential distinction as between plain meat and processed salami. At the close of the book Varadi visits China to which he carries a huge “pick” salami in his suitcase. This because he says he stopped exploring new foods in Hungary at 5 and is overwhelmed by novel Chinese meals. Does Joseph, the creator of polycrystal PV, a salami of crystals, also travel with a huge pick salami?
The chapters on satellites, on the use of PV to charge the batteries on satellites are riveting. Always, Varadi distinguishes terrestrial PV, what Solarex builds for from space PV. For Solarex price is everything in space price is of little concern. Varadi understands these two separate markets and is generous and knowledgeable about both. His explanation of GPS satellites, communication and the nuts and bolts of energy are fascinating. It is the revelations of someone who knows essentials about things to come and the anticipation of man’s success that fascinate. Varadi is fluent in German, English and of course Hungarian this gives him an edge, even more important for me is his skepticism of big government and the “big picture”.
I’m still uncertain about reading his two other books “comrades, mistakes were made” and his book – on 1944 will they disappoint with failures such as his with “quality” and our English language. And are we now all helpless “comrades in a new world order” whose structure will only change when we finally realize the promise of PV and the accomplishment of men like Peter Varadi.
and when I started reading it I could not put it down. First, because it was so easy and understandable to read and also it was
witty and so much of what we don't know or take for granted was amazingly revealed.
This book is a must for everyone who wants to understand what is around us and know how we live today with so much
that we don't know .
This is also a book for students to discover the world around us.
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