Central Hudson, Prism Solar embark on 3-year R&D project for holographic film solar panels

The two companies will install, monitor and compare 3 solar systems of equal peak power ratings, each using a different design: a holographic solar system with bi-facial cells (Prism’s optimized module design), a holographic solar system with mono-facial cells, and a conventional crystalline silicon solar system.

(August 16, 2010) — Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation and Prism Solar Technologies of Highland, NY, are collaborating in a 3-year $190,000 research and development project to test the effectiveness of solar panels using Prism Solar’s patented holographic film. The two companies will install, monitor and compare 3 solar systems of equal peak power ratings, each using a different design: a holographic solar system with bi-facial cells (Prism’s optimized module design), a holographic solar system with mono-facial cells, and a conventional crystalline silicon solar system. It is anticipated that the two holographic systems will generate more electricity than the conventional photovoltaic system under all lighting conditions.

Prism Solar’s holographic film replaces most of the silicon cells required in a solar module to result in a module that is about half the cost of a conventional one. Holographic modules can produce 20-40% more energy per watt by selecting the most useful wavelengths of light and concentrating them onto solar cells. Holographic modules also allow cells to operate near peak efficiency in low light conditions, which is especially important in regions like the Northeast, according to the 2 companies.

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The three 2.5 kilowatt solar systems will be installed at Central Hudson’s Coldenham substation in Orange County, NY in early fall 2010. A weather monitoring station will also be installed to measure sun and cloud conditions, sun angle and other factors that can influence electric generation. Electrical output and weather data will be transmitted to Prism and used to analyze the relative effectiveness of the three panels. This information will be used by Prism to refine and market their product, and performance reports will be provided to Central Hudson. The electricity generated by the three systems will be delivered over the local electric distribution system for use by Central Hudson customers.

“Central Hudson is studying this technology to gain a better understanding of the characteristics and electric generating capabilities of solar installations using holographic film, and, from an economic development prospective, promote a local firm involved in manufacturing and marketing a product that has the potential to expand the use of renewable energy,” said James P. Laurito, president of Central Hudson.

“As an early-stage company, this opportunity to partner with Central Hudson comes at a critical point for Prism Solar to meet its manufacturing goals and bring this game-changing new technology into the photovoltaic market,” says Rick Lewandowski, Prism Solar president and CEO. “We applaud Central Hudson’s continued leadership in advancing the solar industry in New York State.”

Prism Solar Technologies designs and manufactures products that improve the efficiency of solar energy collection, helps to grow the solar energy industry through partnerships and cooperation, and provides technological and manufacturing expertise. For more information, visit www.PrismSolar.com. For information on Central Hudson’s net metering program for solar and wind generation systems, log onto www.CentralHudson.com/dg.

Click here to read more about concentrating solar photovoltaics (cPV): http://www.electroiq.com/index/photovoltaics/cpv.html

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