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Feb 21st, 2012
 
New Energy Technologies and NREL realized small-scale PV window
 
New Energy Technologies, Inc., a developer of innovative technologies for generating sustainable electricity, is pleased to announce that Company and NREL scientists collaboratively developing New Energy’s SolarWindow™ technology – capable of generating electricity on see-through glass – have successfully fabricated the largest-area organic photovoltaic (OPV) module ever produced at the United States Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
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  • See-through PV modules can be used in the future as PV windows
  • 170 cm2-large polymer PV module prototype was realized at the NREL

Scientists developing New Energy’s SolarWindow™ technology fabricated today’s large area 170 square centimeters (cm2) working module, more than 14-times larger than previous OPV devices fabricated at NREL.

Today’s large-area SolarWindow™ milestone was made possible through the efforts of New Energy’s Principal Scientist, Dr. Scott Hammond, in collaboration with numerous NREL Researchers. Working at lab scale, scientists made use of a solution-processable coating technique in order to deposit see-through electricity-generating coatings on to glass surfaces.

These electricity-generating coatings, consisting largely of ‘polymers’, are first designed and subsequently produced by way of organic synthesis; they are then applied to glass using various methods, including high-speed, high-volume industrial processes important to the eventual commercial manufacturing of SolarWindow™ products. Once electricity-generating polymers are applied to a material surface, the resultant effect is the production of an OPV cell. The prospect of SolarWindow™ products generating electricity on see-through glass is made possible by way of the unique architecture associated with this fabrication of the OPV device.

Last month, New Energy announced that researchers had investigated and made use of a high-speed/large-area solution-coating process, which allows for rapid scale-up to larger glass surface areas. This improved process also generally provides for more uniform and faster application of SolarWindow™ electricity-generating coatings than conventional methods, and has resulted in the production of the Company’s new, large-area SolarWindow™ prototype announced today.

Notably, the Company’s latest solution-coating technique has already been demonstrated as compatible with roll-to-roll (R2R) high-speed and high-volume fabrication methods, potentially providing for very-large scale manufacturing. Compared to manufacturing of first-generation solar products, low temperature and ambient pressure R2R manufacturing promises: low labor costs; decreased capital equipment expenditure; reduced cost of energy required for production; and improved environmental and occupational control.

Currently under development for eventual commercial deployment in the estimated 85 million commercial buildings and homes in America, SolarWindow™ is the subject of ten new patent filings and is the world’s first-of-its-kind technology capable of generating electricity on see-through glass windows.


 
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