Toledo-based Lucintech to present at national energy forumWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Lucintech Inc. of Toledo was invited to present its latest photovoltaic technology to clean energy investors at the 26th National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) Industry Growth Forum on Dec. 3-4 in Golden, Colo.
“The NREL Industry Growth Forum will be a major opportunity for Lucintech to highlight the extraordinary progress made with our present funding and collaborative partners for development of photovoltaic coatings for sunroofs and windows,” said Al Compaan, co-founder, CEO and chief technology officer of Lucintech.
Lucintech was one of 30 companies selected to pitch its technology at the national clean tech forum. Compaan said it’s a very competitive forum for which they had to apply to participate.
“We’re looking for investors and strategic partners for our company at the forum,” said Compaan, who attended a similar but smaller venture capital forum in California in September.
Lucintech has developed innovative methods to apply transparent photovoltaic coatings to glass and polymers that offer high efficiency, high transparency, color control and low cost, Compaan said. The firm’s technology package will provide manufacturing partners the ability to address target markets that include automotive sunroofs, as well as building windows, skylights and atriums.
The photovoltaic sunroof would reduce solar heat levels, improve passenger comfort and provide power for air circulation to reduce interior temperatures by as much as 20 degrees while a vehicle is parked. It would reduce air-conditioning loads to improve overall fuel economy and driving range while supplementing the battery charge in electric vehicles, he said.
The building integrated photovoltaic windows would maintain visibility while generating on-site power. The thin-film PV coating that would reduce solar heat gain is well-suited for buildings with large glass areas or walls and would assist in meeting green building standards, Compaan said.
“We’re using the same materials, cadmium telluride, as First Solar, but only much thinner in order to be transparent. They would have the capability to generate as much as 75 percent of the power as typical solar panels,” Compaan said.
He reported that the labs at Lucintech have developed transparent solar panels and have the fabrication capability to make prototypes for such products. Larger sizes for sunroofs and windows would have to be manufactured for commercial use.
“We do not intend to set-up a manufacturing line here, but would approach strategic partners in the value chain for auto sunroofs and glass windows with manufacturing capabilities,” Compaan said.
“We’ve already had some preliminary discussions with companies such as Pilkington North America in Toledo, Guardian Industries in Michigan and Saint-Gobain Corporation in France, for example,” he said.
Lucintech is the new name for Xunlight 26 Solar LLC, co-founded by Compaan and Xunming Deng as a former subsidiary of Xunlight Inc. Xunlight 26 was established as a spin-out technology company from the University of Toledo in 2008 that has licensed photovoltaic coating technology from UT developed there under Compaan.
The name is comprised from “lucid” for transparency and “intech” representing integrated technology, Compaan said. Lucintech was incorporated in October 2012, when it received its first investment from Emerald Technology Investments of Zurich, Switzerland.
Founded in 2000, Emerald is a venture capital pioneer and global investor in areas of energy, water and industrial sectors.
“We are very excited to be part of this venture. Lucintech has pushed the solar technology to a very high level of integration. It blends so well into existing products like windows and sunroofs that one doesn’t even recognize it,” said Markus Moor, a partner with Emerald Technology Ventures and member of Lucintech’s board of directors, which met in Toledo on Nov. 6.
Lucintech’s collaborative partners include Emerald Venture Technologies, Rocket Ventures, U.S. Department of Energy, Photovoltaic Innovation and Commercialization Center at UT, and the State of Ohio. The firm’s research has been supported by more than $2 million of grants and seed capital from the Ohio Third Frontier program and a $1 million award from the DOE’s Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program.
Compaan is a pioneer in the development of magnetron sputtering technology for thin-film CdTe solar cells with extensive photovoltaic experience. As a faculty member at UT, he has led photovoltaic research at the University since he came there in 1987.
For more information, go to www.lucintech.com.
Tags: Al Compaan, cadmium telluride, Emerald Venture Technologies, Lucintech Inc., National Renewable Energy Lab, NREL Industry Growth Forum, Ohio Third Frontier, photovoltaic, Photovoltaic Innovation and Commercialization Center, Rocket Ventures, Small Business Technology Transfer, solar, U.S. Department of Energy, University of Toledo, Xunlight 26, Xunming Deng