Innovalight is getting a lot of attention: Time Magazine, The Economist, and Red Herring have all profiled this Santa Clara based company, while the department of energy has awarded them a fortune to assist with Innovalight’s unique solar panel development process.
Numerous photovoltaic companies have been covered by EcoWorld and solar power has raised the eyebrows of many: It is a great concept and is environmentally friendly, but can have incredibly expensive start up costs. Innovalight takes all this into consideration and has plans to market a new version of the solar panel concept: a nanocrystal solvent made from silicon. These silicon nanoparticles (also called quantum-dots) are extremely efficient; capable of absorbing various forms of light-infrared, ultraviolet and light from the visible spectrum – and able to produce multiple electrons from a single photon of light!
Silicon is the second most common element on the planet and is used in most solar panel products in today’s market. Unfortunately, with suppliers constantly raising the price of silicon due to soaring demand, the less material used, the better.
The unique technology developed by Innovalight uses a silicon powder that has been converted to an ink rather than a solid. The silicon is suspended in a fluid which, in turn, can be printed directly onto polymer sheets to product flexible solar panels. This method is efficient and requires less silicon, which helps cut down on production costs. Plans for the future involve printing this versatile ink onto other products, such as glass or batteries.
Conrad Burke, President and CEO, is more than qualified to guide Innovalight towards a successful future with almost 20 years of experience preparing semiconducter and optical technologies for the market with such companies as Bookham Inc. and OMM Inc-while also being the first executive hire of the latter (a MEMS based optical switching systems company).
As stated on their website, Innovalight “is harnessing a proprietary silicon-ink process, developed by the company to print thin-film solar power modules. Leveraging the advantages of solvent-based processing, Innovalight will help accelerate the promise of more affordable solar power solutions for residential and commercial applications.”
Innovalight plans to market their product in 2009.