Chinese Partnership for Solar Commercialization

With its vast and growing energy needs and low-cost manufacturing capabilities, China’s forays into renewable energy are watched closely. This week a preliminary agreement between two Chinese companies aims to commercialize solar photovoltaic cells.

The two companies are China Energy Savings Technology (CESV) and Beijing Zhongmei Chengxin Technology Ltd. The company press release announced that the two had entered into a Letter of Intent to develop CESV “Thermo-photovoltaic Cell Technology.” The companies’ claims were both optimistic and cryptic: They said their new solar cell can absorb visible light, including a certain amount of ultra-red light, at a conversion rate of over 35 percent. The companies say their cells offer advantages over traditional solar, including a cost of less than $2 per watt. Their small size is an advantage and it can absorb solar radiation energy as well as environmental heat from its surroundings whereas regular solar PV “cannot absorb ultra-red energy in a short distance.” The company added that “the reverse bias being added to the thermo-photovoltaic cell accelerates electronic flow speed, creating a tunnel effect that contributes to the increase in current, which solar batteries are unable to achieve.” The companies plan to industrialize the new thermo cell product for energy-saving applications, such as the manufacturing of solar energy chip sets, thermo-photovoltaic cells to meet the increasing demand for low-cost and high-effect solar energy generators in all sizes, power stations and generator networks. “We are excited to make this investment in Beijing Zhongmei as it will expand our portfolio of energy-saving products,” said Sun Li, Chairman and CEO of China Energy Savings. “This new technology will help relieve the power shortages as a result of the increase in oil and coal prices. With the growing need for innovative energy solutions, we look forward to being able to offer our customers alternatives using solar power.”
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