Improved Organic Compounds Moves SolarWindow Technology Towards Commercialization
Electrical power is generated on glass by spraying New Energy’s SolarWindow™ coatings onto surfaces using commercially available equipment.
Through the Company’s patent-pending process, company researchers spray the coatings onto glass at room temperature, eliminating expensive and often cumbersome high-temperature or high-vacuum production methods typically used by current solar manufacturers.
Successful Demonstration in September, 2010
Unique to SolarWindow™, glass surfaces remain see-thru, and generate electricity in both natural and artificial light conditions. In artificial light, New Energy’s SolarWindow™ technology outperforms today’s commercial solar and thin-films by as much as 10-fold under low-intensity irradiance. This feature was recently demonstrated at a public unveiling of SolarWindow™.
At the SolarWindow™ debut, company scientists demonstrated the technology’s ability to generate ‘voltage’ to power lighting, and also revealed SolarWindow’s capacity to produce ‘current’ necessary for powering mechanical devices and appliances.
“Our demonstration of SolarWindow’s ability to generate both current and voltage on glass surfaces, while remaining see-thru, is an incredible technical achievement and marks a pivotal maturation point for New Energy, where we have transitioned from early research towards product development, and eventual commercial launch,” explained Mr. John A. Conklin, President & CEO of New Energy Technologies, Inc.
“SolarWindow™ is a fantastic product under development, which not only promises to deliver significant environmental benefits to consumers, but also bears enormous commercial opportunity for all of our stakeholders. The prospect of creating a technology capable of turning otherwise passive window panes into see-thru power generators in an estimated 5 million commercial buildings and 80 million detached homes in America, is very exciting.
Following the successful demonstration and raising additional funding, New Energy Technologies expanded their research & development work.
The company issued a press release on January 4, 2011 claiming they have now achieved an important research breakthrough, which could result in the replacement of materials prone to breakdown and degradation.
"Early-on, we focused on developing electricity-generating coatings which remain transparent and can be applied onto glass surfaces at room-temperature. These goals were successfully achieved by our researchers and publicly demonstrated late last year," explained Mr. John A. Conklin, President and CEO of New Energy Technologies, Inc. "This year, our sights are set on commercial product development targets, such as power output, efficiency, durability, reliability, cost, and manufacturability."
Successful integration of the Company's newly-discovered compounds could lead to improved efficiency, lower production costs and enhanced future commercial manufacturability of SolarWindow™.
Importance of the Right Compounds
New Energy's replacement compounds support one of the most important functions for generating electricity on glass surfaces of SolarWindow™, namely, the movement of electrons. This 'flow' of electrons (negatively charged particles) is fundamental to generating electric 'current', necessary for powering appliances and fixtures.
During ongoing development testing, these new compounds have been shown to successfully 'mobilize' the electrons necessary for generating electricity on SolarWindow™ prototypes. Notably, scientists have produced these solution-based compounds without the use of expensive starting materials, and have discovered methods which allow for high reproducibility.
Liquid Compounds are the Key
Researchers are also working towards the replacement of brittle and expensive materials commonly used for generating electricity on SolarWindow™ with easier to handle, low-cost liquid compounds.
Unlike conventional materials used for generating electricity on organic solar cells, New Energy's liquid compounds, currently under development by scientists, remain see-thru, are easy to handle, and can be applied at room temperature and without the use of high-vacuum -- all important attributes to support commercial manufacturing.
"Today's announcement marks an important achievement. Each new milestone we accomplish during research and development, and prototype fabrication, brings us one step closer to commercialization of our SolarWindow™ technology," Mr. Conklin concluded.
Future SolarWindow™ Research Goals
“In upcoming quarters and the year ahead, we anticipate undertaking significant efforts to accelerate our SolarWindow™ towards commercialization. Our priorities include the development of additional patent protection, improved manufacturability, increased power production, advanced power output modeling, and attracting management-level talent able to help advance our breakthrough technology from the research-bench to commercial market,” concluded Mr. Conklin.
Specific initiatives related to the development of SolarWindow™ include:
• Technical improvements designed to:_ Improve cell efficiency and performance;_ Increase transparency of glass surfaces;_ Enhance durability;_ Ensure long-term product performance;_ Scale-up current working prototype; and_ Develop low-cost manufacturing methods.
• Strategies designed to:_ Bolster commercial protection with additional patent filings;_ Pursue commercial partnership opportunities;_ Secure third-party certification of the SolarWindow™ ‘module’ performance; and_ Create advanced models of SolarWindow™’s power production when applied to an entire building as a ‘system’.
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