Irish innovator advances solar power technology
Innovalight have created a substance which will increase efficiency in 80 percent of the world’s solar power market.
Conrad Burke is the President and CEO of Innovalight, a silicon cell manufacturer, who has created “solar ink” a substance which will hugely boost the efficiency of solar cells. Though the “solar ink” might look like nothing more than maple syrup, the potion is based on nanotechnology.
This week the company signed a technology, research and production agreement with Chinese, solar manufacturers, Yingli Solar. Earlier this month JA Solar also signed an agreement to buy inks from Innovalight for the next three years.
The innovative and hugely successful company has President and CEO Conrad Burke at its head. Burke who was born in Dublin has lived in the United States for over ten years and now runs this start up success story in Sunnyvale, California.
He said: “I'm very excited about how things are coming along...We're in the right place at the right time with a technology that people need."
As in every business, efficiency is key, and of course with solar cells it is exactly the same although their efficiency refers to the amount of sunlight that is converted into electricity. By adding Innovalight’s ink to the silicon cells their efficiency is increase immediately by one percent, which is a huge amount when it comes to solar cell manufacturing.
Paula Mints, a solar expert and director of the Energy Practice at Navigant Consulting in Palo Alto explained. He said “The twin goals of this industry are lowering manufacturing costs while you increase efficiency...Efficiency goes directly to system costs, because it takes less space to get more electricity. Anything that keeps solar moving toward higher efficiency levels is big news."
Since 2005, Innovalight have been focusing exclusively on solar power and their work is constantly evolving and improving. So far the company, with 55 staff, has filed 60 patents.
Recently the company raised $18 million in the fourth round of venture financing led by EDB Investments of Singapore. Innovalight was also given a grant by the Department of Energy in 2008. The $3 million grant is being used in the quest to make solar energy cost-competitive by 2015.
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