Unique Solar Concentrator Will Provide Unprecedented Performance

ENTECH-Led Team Awarded $407,000 Contract from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to Develop Advanced Solar Energy Concentrator Module Keller, Texas, February 1, 2001 — A solar energy technology team led by ENTECH, Inc., has been awarded a $407,000 contract from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to develop a unique solar concentrator module for solar electric power plants. The new solar concentrator module uses economical plastic Fresnel lenses to focus sunlight onto very small, high-efficiency solar cells. These special solar cells were originally invented by NREL. The cells use several thin layers of gallium arsenide alloys and germanium to convert the different colors in sunlight to electricity with unprecedented efficiency. NREL has already tested a miniature prototype version of the new ENTECH concentrator module with a record 27% efficiency converting sunlight to electricity. This efficiency is about double the efficiency of conventional solar cell modules now on the market. In addition, the new concentrator has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of solar electric power plants, by using less than 1% of the expensive solar cell material compared to conventional flat-plate solar cell modules. The new ENTECH contract resulted from a highly competitive NREL procurement entitled the High Performance Photovoltaics Initiative. The goal of the initiative is to enable solar power to make a significant contribution to our energy supply and to our environment in the 21st century. NREL, Golden, CO, has awarded the contract to ENTECH, which will be supported by a world-class team of organizations. 3M, St. Paul, MN, will provide the plastic Fresnel lenses, and Spectrolab, a subsidiary of Boeing, Sylmar, CA, will provide the high-efficiency solar cells. In addition to these industrial organizations, NREL will provide technical guidance and testing support throughout the 14-month program. ENTECH, Inc., is a privately held company, incorporated in 1983. ENTECH has developed a number of unique, patented, high-performance products, all related to the efficient conversion and utilization of solar energy. ENTECH products include solar electric generation equipment for ground-based power plants, solar power arrays for spacecraft, and collimating tubular skylights for buildings. In the space technology area, ENTECH made the 720 lenses used on the award-winning solar array on NASA’s Deep Space One spacecraft, launched in 1998. With the solar arrays still performing flawlessly, Deep Space One is now more than 200 million miles from Earth on its way to a comet encounter later this year. More information on ENTECH is available at the company’s web site, ENTECH, Inc. 1077 Chisolm Trail Keller, TX 76248 Tel: 817.379.0100 Fax: 817.379.0300 Web: www.entechsolar.com

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