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Posted: November 4, 2009

Chinese National Nanotechnology Institutes Collaborate with G24i to Drive Industrial Development of Dye-Sensitive Solar Cells

(Nanowerk News) Just three weeks after G24 Innovations (G24i) successfully launched the world’s first commercial application of Dye-Sensitive Solar Cells (DSSC), the global pioneer of DSSC announced that it has signed a formal agreement with three of China’s most prestigious institutes to accelerate industrial development of the technology. Continuing its expansion, G24i has signed an agreement with the China National Academy of Nanotechnology & Engineering (CNANE) in Tianjin, together with the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry (CIAC), which is part of the China Academy of Sciences, and the Nanotechnology Industrialization Base of China (NIBC).
Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells are unique in that they are extremely robust, lightweight and durable, and produce electricity in low-light conditions indoors as well as outside. G24i’s DSSC modules are so versatile that they can be used in industries as diverse as personal electronics, building and construction, and military and defense where rugged conditions and wide variations in lighting can apply.
The contract signals the intent of the parties to establish an accelerated growth platform for the industrialization of G24i’s technology. The three national Chinese institutes have agreed to commit their resources to industrializing DSSC with the objective of making significant advances in materials, manufacturing and scientific aspects of G24i’s thin-film solar technology. The agreement comes on the heels of G24i’s debut at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair where the announcement of G24i’s new solar products received widespread attention from industry and top tier media in the region.
Commenting on the signing of the agreement, chief executive officer of G24i, John Hartnett, explained: “This agreement represents a very significant opportunity for G24i to tackle some developmental challenges. With the help of these major Chinese Institutes, we are confident that we can achieve significant cost reductions in the near term and drive commercialization at an even more accelerated pace.”
Inventor of the DSSC ‘Graetzel Cell’ and professor at the Swiss institute, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Dr. Michael Graetzel, lauded the signing of the MOU: “This agreement with G24i is a major step toward inexpensive and large scale commercialization of dye sensitized solar cells.”
The commitment to developing DSSC technology runs deep with Professor Peng Wang, the principal investigator of DSSC at CIAC and CNANE. Professor Wang was one of the principal contributors in the development of DSSC during his tenure as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor Graetzel’s group at EPFL in Switzerland, and is now China’s leading scientist for high-performance DSSC. He commented, “I am so excited and proud to be bringing Dr. Graetzel’s technology to China in a meaningful way. I am deeply impressed by the advancements G24i has made in being the first to have the capability to mass-produce flexible dye-sensitized solar cells.”
China has adopted what is effectively a hybrid model for driving economic development by blending government and market forces with scientific and professional disciplines. Professor Xu Jianzhong is president of CNANE and NIBC, located at China’s Binhai Economic Development Area in Tianjin, and is responsible for seeing that work at CNANE supports the high tech sector in which NIBC must attract industry for job creation. “I want to see manufacturing with technology invented here,” emphasizes Xu. “Peng is doing great work here as he builds up his nanotechnology team. However, the research team doesn’t focus on manufacturing and that’s why we want to work together with G24i.”
About G24 Innovations
G24 Innovations (G24i) is the leading global manufacturer of next generation Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSC), an alternative to traditional silicon solar cells and a disruptive technology to environment-depleting batteries. Registered in both the United Kingdom and the United States, the company’s manufacturing and R&D divisions are based in Cardiff, Wales, and its global sales and marketing headquarters is in Silicon Valley, California.
G24i holds the license to manufacture the Photovoltaic Dye Solar Cell Technology of the Swiss institute, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), in Europe with unlimited worldwide distribution rights, which includes all current and forward intellectual property.
G24i’s DSSC modules are ideal for powering mobile electronic devices both indoors and outside in variable lighting condition. On a larger scale, the modules integrate effectively into clothing, tents, electronic advertising displays, and works well for indoor building integrated photovoltaic systems where local regulation requires on site generation or significant energy efficiency measures. G24i’s proprietary high speed roll-to-roll manufacturing process allows for large volume production at our 23 acre, 187,000 square foot facility. For more information on G24i, please visit: www.g24i.com.
About Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry (CIAC) is part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). It was founded in December 1948 as a multidisciplinary chemical institute dedicated to research in five key areas of chemistry – polymer science, inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry. Currently working in its six-acre campus are 796 faculty and staff members, including 4 CAS academicians and 3 academicians of The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS). In addition there are 613 graduate students pursuing MS and PhD degrees in the 5 disciplines.
In the past 50 years, CIAC has obtained more than 1,200 scientific and technological achievements, including nickel-catalyzed cis-1, 4-polybutadiene rubber, rare-earth separation processes, solid rocket propellants, and heat-shrinkable polymeric materials technologies, accompanying which are 57 national and 346 CAS, ministry or provincial awards. The CIAC researchers are also responsible for over 497 issued patents and more than 10,000 published papers. In addition the institute publishes 2 professional journals, Analytical Chemistry and Applied Chemistry.
The strategic goal of the Institute is to build on its current strength in research and development of polymer materials and rare-earth materials, and grow into a top multidisciplinary chemical institute which combines fundamental research, applied research, and technology innovation.
About China National Academy of Nanotechnology & Engineering
On June 23, 2006, under the concern of the CPC Central Committee and State Council Leaders, the China National Academy of Nanotechnology & Engineering (CNANE) was established formally. CNANE has been getting great support from the Ministry of Science and Technology, The Ministry of Finance, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, The National Development and Reform Commission, The State Administration of Taxation , The National Natural Science Foundation of China, Tsinghua University, Peking University, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Nankai University, Tianjin University, China National School of Administration, especially from the CPC of Tianjin Municipal and Government, The Administration Commission of Tianjin Binhai New Area and the Administrative Commission of Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Area. Encouraged by the spirit of “Building an Innovative nation”, CNANE has adopted a novel management system and established a central R&D institution, which is located in the Tianjin Binhai New Area and has plans to occupy 2 sq. km.
About Nanotechnology Industrialization Base of China
NIBC was founded under the instruction of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on December 6, 20000, and located in Tianjin.
By establishing platforms of talent, capital, technology and information, and by creating a good policy environment, NIBC cooperates with colleges, research institutes and large enterprises to develop a new R&D system featuring collaborated research and dynamic alliance.
NIBC will also establish an innovation system, which will pave the way for the development of nanotechnology. Thanks to the achievement in nanotechnology, science and technology-oriented enterprises will be cultivated and developed, which will help accelerated the development of nanotechnology and relevant industries.
NIBC has the same strategic orientation and strategic tasks with CNANE. CNANE was established on the base of the NIBC.
Source: G24i (press release)
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