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Business Development Strategy

Market Potential

The large-scale implementation of this system can be the solution to much of the world’s demand for secure renewable energy. While solar energy is growing at a rapid pace, according to the Energy Information Administration it still only accounts for around 0.1% of primary energy demand globally. This means that even small increases in market penetration by solar energy as a result of cost decline, leads to very rapid growth rates. Potential market estimates just for replacement electrical power needs for the Western U.S. is $1.26 billion per year. Estimates for the world market is $200 billion per year.

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Initial market opportunities would be focused on niche products that are not presently possible with conventional solar cells. Examples include skylights that deliver a moderated light through out the day while capturing the excess light to be stored for nighttime lighting, or elastic protective cases for electronics that capture and convert ambient light. The truly gigantic market is the electrical energy market where cost effectiveness is the bottom line where we can supplement, compete with, and inevitably replace fossil fueled systems. The following is a chart of the basic features of the microconcentrator array solar cells.

MicroConcentrator Photovoltaic Array Product Data Sheet

  1. 10-19% solar conversion efficiency.
  2. Uses micro concentration with integral lens and mirrors to maximize the photovoltaic cell performance and utilization.
  3. More efficient cooling than flat panels or conventional concentrators for maximum efficiency and lifetime.
  4. Single sheet tough glass-polymer-metal sheet laminate structure.
  5. Can be transparent to diffuse light and block direct sunlight used with windows or skylights, flexible, elastic and polymorphic systems possible.
  6. Can incorporate scintillators to adjust color and increase diffuse light capture.
  7. Photo catalytic self-cleaning surfaces.
  8. Stationary or tracked alignment.
  9. Uses a redundant and self-correcting “smart" electrical array formed on sheets.
  10. Integrates low cost discrete solar cells, including spherical silicon cells.
  11. Core production costs below $0.22/Watt.

Market Targets

Photovoltic Skylights — The estimated US skylight market is 1.8 million units per year. This is estimated to be a 500 million dollar market in the US alone.

Photovoltic Powered Portable Electronics — The current world annual market for cellular phones and digital cameras is roughly 500 million units/year. Then there is a 0.5% market penetration with the solar option, with the sales price range of $50 to $80, and this translates to a market size of $125 to $200 million per year.

Electrical Power — Our estimate of the Western US market for photovoltaic arrays is $1.26 billion/year and the sustainable world market is $200 billion/year. The total world energy market is $6 trillion and solar photovoltaics can take up a fraction of this market depending on the cost effectiveness of the product. The two kinds of market targets are grid connected and off-grid.

Manufacturing Overview

The photovoltaic array manufacturing process will combine Sphelar® photovoltaic cells, micro concentrator optics, and electrical contacts to make a planar photovoltaic module. Energy Related Devices has built and tested a Micro concentrator system with Sphelar® discrete photovoltaic cells from Kyosemi Corporation and achieved 9.3% system efficiency and a concentration of 4.8 (Figure 1).  Utilization of silicon in the prototype is the 0.25 Watts/gm of silicon.

 From several of our proof-of-principal tests and supporting engineering calculations the cost projections of a production system are between $723/kW and $209/kW for a micro concentrator system as shown in Table 1. The most cost effective system uses Sphelar® discrete photovoltaic cells and a lens-mirror-plate system as illustrated in Figure 1. Our first product modules would have concentrations of six suns and would be used in either stationary or tracked installations. Higher concentration systems would reduce costs further but would be used exclusively in sun tracking installations. Our proposal is to build two full scale prototype systems with two different panel modules to demonstrate to our investors that the technology is ready to go to pilot production.

Table 1 Fundamental Micro-Concentrator Production Cost Estimate Summary


Photovoltaic Cell Cost

$400/M2 (diced sheet cells

$400/M2 (diced sheet cells

$40/M2 (spherical cells)

Effective Concentration

Cylindrical 7X

Spherical 30X

Cylindrical 7X

Effective Photovoltaic Cell Cost  

57/M2     

$13/ M2

$5.7/ M2

Cost of Glass Lenses (Soda Lime Glass): 

$5.28/M2

$5.28/M2

$5.28/M2

Actuating Frame (wooden)          

$10.0/M2

$10.0/M2

$10.0/M2

Total Costs 

$72.3/ M2

$28.3 /M2

$20.9/M2

Cost per kilowatt@ 10% efficiency

$723/kW

$283/kW

$209/kW

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Figure 1 Drawing of a sample section of the targeted micro mirror-lens-spherical cell module. The full scale array module is designed to be a 2ft X 2ft panel.