Seeing the Holographic Solar Answer

A new company believes holographic technologies might be next promising frontier for increasing energy efficiency from solar photovoltaic modules.

Direct Global Power (DGP) has formed a subsidiary, Prism Solar Technologies, in a joint venture with the inventors of a unique holographic photovoltaic (PV) technology which the company says can dramatically reduce the amount of solar cells required in a PV module. DGP has joined forces with Genesis Solar LLC (GSL) of Tucson Arizona to manufacture a new solar module that incorporates its patented holographic planar concentrator (HPC) technology. Prism Solar Technologies, Inc. (PST) has secured seed financing and has begun working on second-generation prototypes of this technology approach. The company is currently raising additional financing from strategic investors and evaluating several potential manufacturing sites. PST expects to begin manufacturing in 2006. DGP’s President Rick Lewandowski will serve as PST’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Direct Global said the holographic module technology is “cell-neutral” and can spectrally select the desired portion of sunlight allowing for “cooler” solar cell operation while maintaining an increased power output by concentrating specific solar wavelengths unto the cells. Through passive tracking, HPC products can achieve higher output in the morning and late afternoon while reducing the amount of expensive silicon necessary in a module, according to the company. The technology, initially developed by principals of GSL working with a major specialty glass and curtain-wall manufacturer, has the potential to not only lower the price of PV modules, but also enjoys aesthetic characteristics. Prism Solar also intends to use the technology with bifacial cells that will create additional price reductions by utilizing the backside of solar cells. “This technology that will cause solar energy to “sling-shot” over other renewable energy options” said an optimistic George Mignon, PST’s Chief Operations Officer. “To date, little attention has been given to optics technologies in solar module R&D. Our products will change that, as we show how our holographic technology can impact solar module output and application.” PST will also work with the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) on its advanced optics technology.

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