April 1, 2008
Start-up company AdvanceSis (Coventry, England) announced a multimillion-dollar follow-on investment from its main shareholder, Seven Spires Investments, to develop applications in the photovoltaics (PV) sector.

AdvancSis gets boost for photovoltaics

Start-up company AdvanceSis (Coventry, England) announced a multimillion-dollar follow-on investment from its main shareholder, Seven Spires Investments, to develop applications in the photovoltaics (PV) sector. This new investment will fund the company’s three-year plan for expansion of its technology and business development resources in the U.K. and mainland Europe. AdvanceSis plans to address the major challenge in the PV sector: the high cost of power generation using today’s silicon technology. By combining its recent developments with advanced semiconductors, power electronics, and optical system capabilities, AdvanceSis believes it can make a substantial impact in bringing the cost of PV electricity to grid parity.

Goodrich receives DARPA sensors contract

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) selected Goodrich (Princeton, NJ) to develop next-generation night-vision sensor technology for helmet-mounted and microvehicle applications. A three-year contract released under DARPA’s MicroSensors for Imaging program to Goodrich’s ISR Systems division covers engineering and initial prototypes of highly sensitive lightweight imaging cameras based on the company’s commercially successful shortwave infrared sensors. Work will be performed in Princeton, NJ.

Organic PV market to reach $3.8 billion

According to a new market research report from NanoMarkets (Glen Allen, VA) Materials Markets for Thin-Film and Organic Photovoltaics, materials for use in thin-film and organic photovoltaics (PV) will reach $3.8 billion by 2015. NanoMarkets’ analysis says the thin-film and organic PV market is becoming a source of opportunity for both traditional electronic chemicals suppliers and innovative materials firms. In addition, the report says that silicon inks will soon be available that will combine the manufacturability advantage of organic PV, but with much higher conversion efficiencies. Slivers of crystalline silicon have been developed that combine the high efficiency of crystalline silicon with the flexibility and ease of fabrication of thin film—technology that is already being used in a pilot plant.

Lebanese Navy orders Cedip IR platforms

The Lebanese National Defence Ministry placed an order for 6 Pharos XLR3+ Long Range Multisensor Surveillance Platforms from Cedip Infrared Systems (Croissy-Beaubourg, France). The platforms will be equipped with a long-range thermal imager to give night capabilities and a high-performance CCD camera with powerful zoom for daytime operation. Operating in the 3 to 5 µm mid-wavelength infrared spectral band, this thermal imager offers full television-format resolution (640 × 512). Cedip Infrared Systems is a division of FLIR Systems.

Partnership to advance thin-film solar cells

Ersol Thin Film, a subsidiary of ersol Solar Energy (both Erfurt, Germany), and Schott Solar (Alzenau, Germany) have concluded a cooperative agreement under which they will jointly develop micromorphous technology for thin-film solar cells. In contrast to amorphous thin-film modules, micromorphous thin-film modules have a double-layer structure consisting of an amorphous and a microcrystalline silicon film. This arrangement results in improved exploitation of sunlight because the two silicon layers convert the whole light spectrum into power. The two companies will be combining their resources in the area of research and development with the aim of achieving faster product maturity towards a leading market position in micromorphous solar modules.

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Also in the news . . .

Photron (Tokyo, Japan) and its subsidiaries Photron USA and Photron Europe were honored by the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers with a product excellence award for Photron’s APX-RS high-speed imager that enables technology in the study of particle image velocimetry, an optical method used to measure velocities and related properties in fluids. . . . Synova (Lausanne, Switzerland), patent holder of water-jet-guided laser technology, joined a research alliance led by Europe’s largest solar research organization, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (, to explore manufacturing methods to speed processing and improve the performance of solar cells. . . . Insight Media (Norwalk, CT) released 2008 Pico-Projector Market Segment Analysis, which forecasts that picoprojectors (projection display systems) will reach nearly 30 million units in 2012.

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