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Posted: January 12, 2010

New Energy Unveils Patent-Pending Technology to 'Spray' Solar Cells onto See-Thru Windows to Generate Electricity

(Nanowerk News) New Energy Technologies, Inc., developer of MotionPower™ technologies for generating sustainable electricity from the kinetic energy of moving vehicles and SolarWindow™ technologies capable of generating electricity on see-thru glass windows, today announced that researchers have developed a novel, patent-pending process for ‘spraying’ solar cells and their related components onto glass.
“The ability to spray solar coatings directly onto glass follows on the heels of our recent breakthrough which replaced visibility-blocking metal with environmentally-friendly see-thru compounds, and marks an important advance in the development of our see-thru glass windows capable of generating electricity”
“The ability to spray solar coatings directly onto glass follows on the heels of our recent breakthrough which replaced visibility-blocking metal with environmentally-friendly see-thru compounds, and marks an important advance in the development of our see-thru glass windows capable of generating electricity,” announced Mr. Meetesh V. Patel, President and CEO of New Energy Technologies, Inc.
“In commercial terms, this new spray technology could translate into important manufacturing advantages for our SolarWindow™, including significant cost-savings, high-speed production, and room-temperature deposition – common barriers to commercial success for innovative solar technologies.”
Once scaled-up for use in commercial-scale production, researchers anticipate the ability to spray solar coatings directly onto New Energy’s first-of-its-kind see-thru SolarWindow™, currently under development, could provide significant commercial production advantages over today’s thin-films. Conventional solar films are typically manufactured using expensive and slow manufacturing methods which rely on high-temperature and finicky ‘vacuum deposition’ processes for depositing solar materials onto substrates; the resultant products are simply too thick to allow for transparency, an important consideration in the development of a commercially viable solar-powered glass window.
Last week, New Energy announced that researchers successfully overcame one of the biggest transparency-related obstacles faced by scientists developing New Energy’s SolarWindow™ technology --- the presence of metal, an opaque material which blocks visibility and prevents light from passing through glass. Eliminating metal has proved especially challenging since the metal component acts as the negative ‘polar contact’ – an important function in collecting the electricity generated from solar cells on the surface of the glass.
Last week’s breakthrough replaces this ‘visibility-blocking’ metal with environmentally-friendly and more transparent compounds. These compounds now function as the negative polar contact and collect electricity from New Energy’s SolarWindow™.
The production of solar-generated electricity on glass is made possible by the world’s tiniest working solar cells, which along with their related components, have now been successfully sprayed on to glass surfaces by researchers currently developing the Company’s SolarWindow™.
These ultra-small solar cells measure less than 1/4 the size of a grain of rice, are fabricated using environmentally-friendly materials, and successfully produce electricity, as demonstrated in a published peer-reviewed study in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy of the American Institute of Physics.
Unique performance properties of New Energy’s ultra-small solar cells enable development of an ultra-thin film, only 1/1000th the thickness of a human hair, or 1/10th of a micrometer. In contrast, conventional thin films are exponentially thicker, measuring several micrometers thick and inhibiting transparency. In photovoltaic applications such as see-thru windows, where transparency is a primary concern, today’s thin film solar cells simply cannot be utilized to produce a transparent solar window for application in homes, offices, and commercial buildings.
There are nearly 5 million commercial buildings in America, according to the Energy Information Administration, and more than 80 million single detached homes. New Energy’s SolarWindow™ technology is under development for commercial application in such buildings.
About New Energy Technologies, Inc.
New Energy Technologies, Inc., together with its wholly owned subsidiaries, is a developer of next generation alternative and renewable energy technologies. Among the Company’s technologies under development are:
MotionPower™ roadway systems for generating electricity by capturing the kinetic energy produced by moving vehicles – a patent-pending technology, the subject of nine patent applications in the United States and two international patent filings. An estimated 250 million registered vehicles drive more than six billion miles on America’s roadways, every day; and
SolarWindow™ technologies which enable see-thru windows to generate electricity by ‘spraying’ their glass surfaces with the world’s smallest known solar cells. These solar coatings are less than 1/10th the thickness of ‘thin’ films and make use of the world’s smallest functional solar cells, shown to successfully produce electricity in a published peer-reviewed study in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy of the American Institute of Physics.
Source: New Energy Technologies (press release)
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