By Tyler Hamilton, via The Toronto Star
John Paul Morgan shines a green penlight on a prototype that he created — a solar optic that converts light into electricity. As he does, the beam strikes the device’s acrylic surface, then bends abruptly at a right angle toward the centre, where it elegantly converges on a thumbnail-sized solar cell that produces the power.
It has been nearly a decade since he developed this device, and his technology has improved dramatically since then. Now significantly more affordable, it is also lighter, better designed, and arguably one of the more efficient ways to produce solar electricity on the planet.
Looking back on the source of inspiration for his unique design, Morgan, co-founder and chief technology officer of Toronto-based Morgan Solar, points to the early 2000s when he worked in Ottawa for JDS Uniphase, the optical-networking pioneer that at the time was a giant of Canada’s world-leading telecom scene.