Quantum Dots for Next Generation Photovoltaics


25 November 2012 Octavi E. Semonin, Joseph M. Luther, and Matthew C. Beard

Beard et al. discuss the current status of research efforts towards utilizing the unique properties of colloidal quantum dots for solar photon conversion.

QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8Colloidal quantum-confined semiconductor nanostructures are an emerging class of functional material that are being developed for novel solar energy conversion strategies. One of the largest losses in a bulk or thin film solar cell occurs within a few picoseconds after the photon is absorbed, as photons with energy larger than the semiconductor bandgap produce chargecarriers with excess kinetic energy, which is then dissipated via phonon emission. Semiconductor nanostructures, where at least one dimension is small enough to produce quantum confinement effects, provide new pathways for controlling energy flow and therefore have the potential to increase the efficiency of the primary photoconversion step. In this review, we provide the current status of research efforts towards utilizing the unique properties of colloidal quantum dots (nanocrystals confined in three dimensions) in prototype solar cells and demonstrate that these unique systems have the potential to bypass the Shockley-Queisser single-junction limit for solar photon conversion.

Nanomaterials form a flexible material platform that has great promise for providing new ways to approach solar energy conversion. The synthesis, investigation, and utilization of these novel nanostructures lie at the interface between chemistry, physics, materials science, and engineering. The chemistry community is providing simple and safe solution phase syntheses that yield monodisperse, passivated nanocrystals (NCs) of high optoelectronic quality with a growing degree of control over composition, shape, and structure.

These novel structures provide physicists and materials scientists with new avenues towards controlling energy flow. One of the largest scientific challenges regarding solar energy conversion is increasing the efficiency of the primary photoconversion process. In recent years we have studied the process of multiple exciton generation (MEG), where a photon bearing at least twice the energy of the bandgap can produce two or more electron-hole pairs and thereby bypass some wasteful heat production. 1,2

Third generation photovoltaics and multiple exciton generation

Traditional solar cells only harvest a fixed amount of energy from any given solar photon. However, the solar spectrum consists of photons with energies spanning 0.4 eV to 4.0 eV (see Fig. 1). The band-gap of the semiconductor determines how much solar energy can be converted to electrical power: photons with energy less than the bandgap are not absorbed, while photons with energy greater than the bandgap lose excess energy unnecessarily via emission of phonons (thermalization). Fig. 1 shows that the available free energy from an ideal present day single junction cell is about 33 %, while another 33 % is lost to thermalization and the remaining third is divided up between photons not absorbed and unavoidable thermodynamic losses. Those losses are associated with extracting photoexcited electrons at the contacts prior to radiative recombination.

Future directions and challenges

Surpassing the SQ limit for single junction solar cells is both a scientific and technological challenge and the use of semiconductor NCs to enhance the primary photoconversion process is a promising avenue towards such a goal. The MEG result is remarkable not only as a conclusive demonstration of MEG, but also as a demonstration that the ‘extra’ carriers can be collected in a suitable quantum dot solar cell. Thus, one of the tenets of the SQ limit, that high-energy photons only produce one electron-hole pair in a semiconductor, can be bypassed. However, the present day MEG solar cell only benefits by about 4 % in its photocurrent from collection of multiple excited carriers per photon. The challenge now is to further improve the MEG efficiency, as well as to continue to improve the fundamental QD film and device architecture. One avenue of future research is to explore MEG in a variety of shapes, compositions, and structures. Quantum wires or rods (QRs) with two-dimensional confinement, and quantum platelets (QPs) with one-dimensional confinement both are relatively unexplored, and QRs have already given some promising results that show further enhancement of MEG.

Other approaches to high-efficiency devices, most notably multijunction solar cells, are very promising avenues as well. However, in order for any of these approaches to be effective, a fundamentally well-controlled material is essential. As Kramer and Sargent propose, carrier mobility, trap density, and trap level position are useful metrics to use in this vein. We would also add that the carrier lifetime (which is intrinsically related to trap density) is an accessible and important parameter to monitor in this endeavor.

The diffusion length, determined from the product of lifetime and mobility, will determine how thick efficient cells can be made before recombination dominates. This length, presently around 100 nm, must be extended to the length scales of optical and NIR absorption lengths (about one micron).

Acknowledgements

We are thankful for the support of the division of Chemical, Geoscience and Biosciences, within the office of Basic Energy Sciences, office of Science, US Department of Energy for the work on the photophysics and chemistry of quantum dots. Our work on quantum dot solar cells was supported as part of the Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics an Energy Frontier Research Center within the office of Basic Energy Sciences, Office of Sciences, US DOE. Funding was provided to NREL under contract number DE-AC36-086038308 with DOE.

*** This report has been edited for length. If you wish to read the full report, go here:

http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/Launch.aspx?EID=a1ed4eca-e2e3-4beb-a7e3-13d584504db8&pnum=46

 

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Opportunities and Challenges in Nanotechnology-based Food Packaging Industry,


QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8*** Note To Readers: Excellent ‘Slide Share‘ detailing the current and future applications of nanotechnology into ‘everyday life’, ergo .. many successful commercial applications. Of course (IOHO), the ability to bring down the current costs of nano-materials and to produce them on a scale to ‘enable’ many of these nano-applications is KEY.  Cheers! BWH

 

 

CrowdFunding: What Are Contributors Looking For?


Contributors - CrowdFunding Incubator LLC - CFI - Douglas E_ Castle

CrowdFunding: What’s In It For Contributors? Douglas E. Castle

When a project is posted on a crowdfunding website or platform, the project’s sponsors are obviously there for the capital. But what motivates contributors to put their funds into any particular project – And what makes some projects more attractive or appealing to these contributors? What draws contributors to one
particular project instead of another?

Contributors are moved to donateor place funds into a project for a wide variety of reasons, but very few of
these involve their active participation (as in ownership) in the company or organization, as no securities in the project company are being offered. There is certainly no stock market or investment “killing” to be won from either the standpoint of cash flow, income, appreciation or capital gains. Indeed, the contributors are unlikely to do any better whether the project merely survives or its shares become publicly-traded and it is a trending item in all of the financial publications, news aggregators and social media. Return On Investment (ROI) to the participant just cannot be calculated based upon any traditional investment model involving risk, return and reward.

In the case of donations and gifts to humanities and charitable causes, the motive is principally philanthropy, with the occasional lure of a souvenir, certificate or newsletter subscription;
but more often than not, it is just the feeling of joy that invariably follows a small, unselfish act of philanthropy.

But what of all of the applications, gadgets, gizmos, food chains, tech start-ups and environmentally-friendly thingamajigs? What are contributors looking for there? What do Project promoters need to give them? To show them?

Here’s the way it looks to be shaping up according to CrowdFunding Incubator LLC

Contributors should be getting at least these five
things:

1) Some value for their contribution – discounted tickets, discounted meals, preorders at a bargain price, and opportunity to advertise. No matter what it is, it should be worthwhile, and the chancier the bet, or the longer the wait, the bigger the perceived value in consideration of the contribution;

2) Respect and acknowledgment for what they have given you, based upon good faith, a belief in your potential, and a willingness to ride with you. Perhaps they could be offered co-founders’ status, certificates of appreciation, a chance to meet with and ask questions of the Project founders. If you’ve received contributions, wouldn’t it make sense to be gracious and say “Thank You!” ?;

3) Information – these individuals want to get updates from the persons responsible about the status and progress of their Project. Newsletters or bulletins to each contributor are a great idea. On the conventional wisdom (oxymorons, anyone?) that no news is bad news regarding any financial matter [except one involving the IRS], your contributors want to know that their money is at work. Don’t let them feel that you’ve absconded with the funds and that you’ve decided it best to keep them out of the informational loop.
Communicate;

4) Input – Ask for your contributors’ input on your Project. Let them participate in surveys, focus groups, beta tests. You might find this to be tremendously worthwhile. You might receive some critically
useful information, and perhaps — a wealthy accredited angel or a well-connected executive who wants to help you. You’ll never know if you don’t ask.

5) Glory – Every contributor would like to share in the glory when you’ve achieved some benchmark goal. There are many ways to do this. For goodness sake – Project Sponsors are supposed to be imaginative
and creative. Find a means through which those true believers can celebrate with you.

Make it worthwhile for your Contributors to support you. Let them share in the dream and the glory.

Victory is sweeter when it can be shared.

Thank you for reading me, re-tweeting me and completing me.

The Moneyball strategy is the future for venture capital firms?


QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8*** Note To Readers: I know, I know … some of you will read this with a seasoned sense of skeptisim … but more often than not, with enough data points and with “financial analysis tools” the approach to picking ‘winners and losers’ when it comes to new business ventures … becomes less and less dependent upon ‘ye old spin the bottle’ approach! Enjoy … “Live Long and Prosper!”  BWH

January 10, 2013 4:44 PM
Matt  Oguz

baseball

“Money Ball”

Traditional venture capital invests with a “gut” feeling approach, and as  VentureBeat’s Christina Farr  recently  put it, “Relying on gut feeling simply isn’t good enough anymore”.

Investors suffer from a number of cognitive biases. The biggest, most  powerful and most dangerous bias in Silicon Valley today is called the “herd  mentality” or “bandwagon effect.” It’s difficult to oppose the general  consensus.

As investors, this and other cognitive biases skew our decision-making  process every day. How do you get around it? We believe that the answer lies in  mathematics. If we can work with models that are built to protect us from human  biases, guide us through the turbulent waters of high-risk investing and  incorporate factors of safety, that would be a better option than swinging for  the fences to make up for losses.

Most people in traditional VC, including  Blumberg Ventures’ Jon Soberg would make the claim that there’s very little  data to work with. In a recent post in VentureBeat, Soberg comes up with a  heuristic statistic to prove that “most investments fail.”

I would argue that historical data is available. When you actually take a  deeper look at the numbers, you’ll find some definitive patterns. The returns  actually resemble a log-normal or log-levy distribution, not a normal  distribution. We actually have a strong grasp of what the return data looks  like, and do not need to accept the widely-held belief that most startups  fail.

Screen shot 2013-01-10 at 4.03.53 PM

There are a lot of data points available, but you need to know where to look.  At first look, it may seem like late-stage investments are safer bets than  early-stage investments. But looking back over the previous decade, we  discovered in our research that the risk of failure is about the same! A 49  percent failure rate in early rounds yielded a 2.8x money multiple versus a 45  percent failure rate and 1.3x multiple in later-stage rounds.

Traditional investors claim that the key to success is finding the next  Zuckerberg. In my view, this is the very reason why traditional VC firms fail to  deliver results. It shouldn’t be about discovering the next Facebook. It’s about  positioning yourself to find it. You don’t do that by swinging hard every single  time. Look at any legendary investor, Warren Buffett for instance, and you’ll  see that they don’t swing at every ball, but rather follow mathematical  investment models that incorporate appropriate factors of safety.

The claim that VC’s need to rely on old school-hustle, homework, and instinct  is also simply wrong because the VC’s that follow this mindset couldn’t deliver  sufficient returns, and are struggling to raise their next funds.

Let’s get into a little more detail. There are three key activities in  venture investing: Deciding which startup(s) to invest in, how much to invest,  and how to construct the portfolio.

Using decision models, and some of these models have been widely-used over  the last 20 years in a number of areas such as medicine and engineering, we  can:

  • Establish a bias-free, data driven selection model.
  • Optimize investment sizes per company.
  • Optimize investment portfolio of companies.

Without revealing too much about our research, I can say that we use  proprietary variations of models already used elsewhere, such as Multiple  Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA), Kelly Criterion, and the Markowitz portfolio  theory. These theories must be modified for the characteristics of the venture  capital business, and we’ve attempted to do that, and filed patents on them  while we were at it. Our MCDA matrix has elements similar to those used in the “Startup Genome” project.

The “Moneyball” approach to venture capital forces us to work harder and  smarter to overcome the cognitive limitations instead of “the best gut-feeling  pickers.” Traditional VC takes way too much credit for successes, and doesn’t  accept its failures.

We should look at successes and failures as data points to improve our math  to get to our goal: to deliver superior returns to our limited partners.

Matt-OguzMatt  Oguz is a founding partner of Palo Alto Venture Science, a firm that brings a  data-driven approach to VC. He has been an angel investor in early-stage  startups since 2005, and specializes in e-commerce, analytics, behavioral  economics and decision sciences.

Prior to this, he built big data solutions for a number of Fortune  500 companies such as Dow Corning, Coca Cola and General Electric.

Read more at http://venturebeat.com/2013/01/10/vc-moneyball-rebuttal/#Q6XHCXOExR4hrzCC.99

Nano-material to revolutionize computing


QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8Nano-material to revolutionize computing

 

 

Jan 7, 2013, 05.37 PM IST: SYDNEY: A two-dimensional  nano-material could usher in nano-transistors and help revolutionise electronics, including ultra fast  computing, says an Australian research.

The new material – made up of layers of crystal known as molybdenum oxides – has unique properties that encourage the free flow of electrons at ultra-high speeds.

Researchers from Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) explain how they adapted a revolutionary material known as graphene to create a new conductive nano-material, the journal Advanced Materials reports.

Graphene created by scientists in Britain won its inventors a  Nobel Prize in 2010. While the new material supports high speed electrons, its physical properties stump high-speed electronics, according to a  CSIRO statement.

Serge Zhuiykov from the CSIRO said the new nano-material was made up of layered sheets – similar to graphite layers that make up a pencil’s core.

“Within these layers, electrons are able to zip through at high speeds with minimal scattering,” Zhuiykov said.

“The importance of our breakthrough is how quickly and fluently electrons – which conduct electricity – are able to flow through the new material,” he added. Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) doctoral researcher Sivacarendran Balendhran led the study.

Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh, professor at the RMIT, said the researchers were able to remove “road blocks” that could obstruct the electrons, an essential step for the development of high-speed electronics.

“While more work needs to be done before we can develop actual gadgets using this new  2D nano-material, this breakthrough lays the foundation for a new electronics revolution and we look forward to exploring its potential,” he adds.

U.S. has a chance to invent the manufacturing technology of tomorrow.


By Antonio Regalado on January 4, 2013

QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8The U.S. has lost millions of manufacturing jobs since 2000. Industries have moved offshore. America’s trade deficit in physical goods is $738 billion a year.

So what’s the path forward?

Countries trying to understand what’s next for their export industries often call Ricardo Hausmann. The Harvard economist and onetime planning minister for Venezuela has developed a kind of economic aptitude test for nations. Using complexity theory and trade data, Hausmann looks at what a country is good at making and predicts what types of more valuable items it could produce next.

That sounds plain enough, but the results of Hausmann’s analyses are often surprising. A country with a competitive garment industry might want to move into electronics assembly—both need an industrial zone with quality electrical power and good logistics. A country that exports flowers may find it has the expertise in cold-storage logistics necessary to spark an export boom in fresh produce.

Hausmann, who is director of Harvard’s Center for International Development, spends much of his time helping nations that are just beginning to modernize their industries, such as Angola and Nigeria. MIT Technology Review asked him what his research methods predict about opportunities for manufacturing in the United States.

Why has the number of American manufacturing jobs been decreasing so quickly?

And then, manufacturing is becoming feasible in more parts of the world. There is more competition, including from countries with much lower wages. As they emulate American production, they take market share.

What’s the best manufacturing strategy for the U.S. in that situation?

It’s certainly not playing defense and trying to save jobs. The U.S. has very, very high wages compared to other countries. Yet it also has a comparative advantage, which is deep knowledge, high R&D intensity, and the best science and technology base in the world.

The step that makes the most sense for the U.S. is to become the producer of the machinery that will power the next global manufacturing revolution. That is where the most complex and sophisticated products are, and that is the work that can pay higher wages.

What kind of revolution are you talking about?

My guess is that developments around information technology, 3-D printing, and networks will allow for a redesign of manufacturing. The world will be massively investing in it. The U.S. is well positioned to be the source of those machines. It can only be rivaled by Germany and Japan.

You look at economies as “product space.” What do you mean by that?

The product space is the space of all possible products. The metaphor is of a forest. Each product is a tree, and companies are monkeys that are organizing and taking over the forest. Empirically, we’ve shown monkeys don’t fly. They move to nearby trees, or to industries for which they have many of the required productive capabilities.

So if you have the capability to make a regional jet, you may be able to make a long-haul aircraft. But if you are making only garments, figuring out how to make any kind of jet will be very hard. Countries that grow find a “stairway to heaven”—a sequence of short jumps that gets them far.

How does that type of analysis help a country know what to do next?

Think about a developing country that exports raw commodities. The traditional way that people have thought about it is to add value: if you have trees, try to export paper or furniture rather than wood.

But the product space may actually argue against the idea that countries should add value to their raw materials. The way a country like Finland got transformed is that they moved from cutting wood to making machines that cut wood, to making machines that cut other things, to other types of machines, and eventually to Nokia.

So what are the opportunities for the U.S. in product space?

The U.S. has the problem that it’s competing with countries that pay much lower wages. American monkeys are under stress from other countries’ monkeys in regards to less complex, easier-to-make products. So the U.S. should look to the taller trees. The tallest trees in product space are pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and machinery. It’s very hard to get into those. Very few countries are in that game.

That is why I say the really long-term play is for the U.S. to be the source of the machinery that will power the coming global manufacturing revolution. The U.S. can grow by using capabilities that few others have.

Is there a manufacturing technology you see as game-changing?

I think 3-D printing could change the dynamics. I use 3-D printing as shorthand for shorter production runs, more design, and much closer to the market. It’s a paradigmatic shift in what manufacturing is going to look like.

Historically you think of manufacturing as an assembly line with thousands of workers, the UAW [United Auto Workers union], and benefits. But here we are talking about very small batches, made close to consumers, and customized. It will still be manufacturing, but a different kind of job in a different kind of company whose organization we don’t yet know.

Will the U.S. create jobs in this way?

If anything, a manufacturing revolution is going to accelerate a trend toward more efficiency. So from that point of view, for the U.S. to base its employment strategy on manufacturing sounds unrealistic. Manufacturing is low-employment.

What else is the U.S good at manufacturing?

If you look broadly at the U.S. product space, the country is super-competitive at agriculture and the industries that support it, like farm machinery, agrochemicals, and genetically modified seeds. It is strong in aerospace with Boeing, GE, Northrop Grumman, and Pratt & Whitney. It is a leader in pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, and it is the clear leader in information technology and the Internet. New industries often arise from the combination of capabilities, such as biotechnology that can move from medicine to seed development and pest control

How well is the U.S. doing in staying competitive?

For a while now, the U.S. has been much less focused on being competitive than most other places are. Americans have the feeling they are born to win, and if they don’t, someone else is cheating. The U.S. has many self-inflicted wounds. It has an infrastructure that’s increasingly lousy and a corporate tax rate higher than most countries’. But the most important [problem] is immigration policy. It’s been a real disaster by preventing the attraction and retention of the high-skilled people who come here to study and then don’t stay.

Unique mussel wet-adhesion improves lithium-ion battery performance


By Michael Berger. Copyright © Nanowerk

QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8 (Nanowerk Spotlight) Binders are used in fabricating  lithium-ion batteries to hold the active material particles together and in  contact with the current collectors. The characteristics of the binder material  used are critical for the performance of the battery. The anode is a critical component for storing energy in  lithium-ion batteries. Silicon has recently attracted considerable attention as  an anode material in lithium battery technology due to its unparalleled  capacity, which is about ten-fold higher than those of the conventional graphite  anodes. Despite the excellent capacity, however, silicon suffers from short  cycle life. The cycle life of silicon is typically less than a couple hundred of  charge-discharge cycles limiting its application. The reason for the limited cycle life is poor film stability  because silicon – during its reaction with lithium ions – undergoes a very large  volume expansion by up to 300% during charge and discharge. And this is where the binders come into play. To minimize the  side effects of the large volume expansion, the binders included in the  electrode films (both cathodes and anodes) play a critical role in maintaining  stable electrode structures over a large number of cycles. Although intensive  research related to binders has been performed, the success has been limited. In an effort to make a highly functional binder, researchers at  the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), led by associate  professors Jang Wook Choi and Haeshin Lee, have developed polymers conjugated with  mussel-inspired functional groups (catechol groups). Catechol was found to play  a decisive role in the exceptional wetness-resistant adhesion. The results have been published in the [date] online edition of Advanced Materials (“Mussel-inspired Adhesive Binders for High  Performance Silicon Nanoparticle Anodes in Li-Ion Batteries”),  first-authored by Myung-Hyun Ryou. The results suggests that the binder plays a  critical role in the operation of pure silicon and silicon-graphite composite  anodes.

id28250Catechol conjugated polymer binders and Si anode structure. a)  Mussel; the inset shows the chemical structure of dopamine inspired from mussel  foot proteins. b) Structural formula of Alg-C and PAA-C alongside a simplified  structure of a conjugated polymer binder; the black solid line represents the  polymer backbone with carboxylic acid functional groups attached and red circles  represent catecholmoieties conjugated to the backbone. c) A graphical  illustration of the Si NP anode structure. (Reprinted with permission from  Wiley-VCH Verlag

Due to significantly enhanced adhesion, the silicon electrodes  become much more stable, enabling to improve their cycle lives significantly,  i.e. several times compared to previous polymeric binders.  Mussel feet show exceptionally strong holdfast on wet surfaces.  They preserve strong adhesion on the rock surfaces even under fierce sea wave  action. Such exceptional wet-adhesion is nowadays giving clever ideas for making  breakthrough progress in a variety of technological areas. For instance,  researchers have used “mussel glue” to  fabricate DNA chips for diagnostics and research or generally used the  adhesive properties of mussels to  develop new adhesive materials. “Although the battery community has noticed the importance of  polymeric binders in the emerging silicon battery anodes, previous binders have  shown limited success,” Choi tells Nanowerk. “In comparison, the mussel-inspired  binders that we used in our work enhance the electrode film stability remarkably  and thus improve the cycle life.” He points out that the wetness-resistant adhesion found in  mussel glue could be very useful for battery operations because the battery  components are also in contact with each other in liquid environments. Choi notes that, having taken note of the recent studies that  indicated the importance of the rigidity of polymer backbone in retaining the  capacity of the silicon electrodes during cycling, the team conjugated adhesive  catechol functional groups to well-known poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) and alginate  backbones with high Young’s moduli. “As for the morphology of the active material, among various  silicon nanostructures, we chose silicon nanoparticles on account of their  capability for mass production,” he says. “The mussel-inspired binders endow  silicon nanoparticles electrodes with markedly improved battery performance  compared to those based on other existing binders.” Silicon has already been partially included as an anode material  in certain battery applications and is expected to increase its presence in  future applications. Thus, the binder developed by the KAIST team would  accelerate and expand the use of silicon in future lithium-ion batteries. “For delivery of the mussel-inspired binders into real markets,  further electrode optimization might be required perhaps under collaborations  with battery industries,” says Choi. “Moreover, this mussel-inspired binder  should be readily applicable to other lithium-ion battery electrodes that  undergo significant volume change during cycling because the wetness resistant  catecholic adhesion proved to be effective with various substrates.”

Wipe-On Nanocoating to Exceed Automotive OEM Specs


QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8(Nanowerk News) Imagine for a moment a world were  automotive plastics never fade, a self-cleaning wheel that resists brake dust, a  self-cleaning tire that looks new for life, or a fiberglass boat that resists  fading for life. These and other amazing benefits are now possible due to 10  years of research & development in nanotechnology.
According to Nanovere Technologies Chairman & Chief  Technology Officer Thomas Choate, “Nanovere is pleased to introduce the world’s  first Wipe-On clear nanocoating to exceed automotive OEM specifications. The  product is named Vecdor Nano-Clear®. What’s most unique about Nano-Clear® is the  ability to permanently restore original color, gloss and surface hardness back  into oxidized textured plastics, highly oxidized fiberglass and highly oxidized  paint surfaces while reducing surface maintenance by 60%.”
Nanotechnology can be described as the science of molecular  engineering. Nanovere Technologies has pioneered proprietary 3D nanostructured  coatings at the molecular level since 2003. Nano-Clear® forms a “highly  crosslink dense film with extreme scratch resistance, chemical resistance, UV  resistance, remarkable flexibility and self-cleaning properties including water,  oil, ice and brake-dust repellency.”
The application potential for Nano-Clear® Wipe-On nanocoating  includes automotive textured plastics, aluminum and steel wheels, tires,  oxidized paint surfaces including heavy duty equipment, boat hulls, aluminum  siding, outdoor metal furniture, air conditioner housings, etc.
Vecdor nanocoatings have been tested and validated by some of  the world’s leading OEM companies including Boeing, BMW, Accuride Truck Wheels  and many others to outperform leading OEM clear coatings;
  • 53%  higher scratch resistance: 4H pencil hardness
  • 476%  higher chemical resistance over nearest competitor: 500+ MEK rubs
  • 60%  reduced surface maintenance: water, oil and ice repellency
  • 94%  gloss retention even after 5 years
Nanovere is currently establishing global distribution networks  for Vecdor Nano-Clear®. Interested parties may contact Nanovere directly at  alliances@nanovere.com or call us at  (810)  227-0077 . To learn  more about Nanovere or nanotechnology, please visit us at  http://www.nanocoatings.com or email question@nanovere.com.                    
Nanovere Technologies, LLC. specializes in the research &  development of first-to-market nanocoatings and licensing of 3D nanostructured  coating polymers to a world leading paint manufacture. Nanovere Technologies was  founded in 2003 and invented the core polymers and nanocoatings which currently  represent 11 global patents pending.
Source: Nanovere (press  release)

Read more: http://www.nanowerk.com/news2/newsid=28253.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nanowerk%2FagWB+%28Nanowerk+Nanotechnology+News%29#ixzz2GrgmBXUC Follow us: @nanowerk on Twitter | nanowerk on Facebook

Schools in California go solar to save cash, revive programs


Published on 12/18/2012 – 9:11 amWritten by Ben Keller

QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8As energy goes in California, schools are among the biggest users, causing many districts in the state to consider solar power as a way to shave utility expenses.

According to a fall report by Environment California Research and Policy Center, the state’s K-12 schools spend an estimated $132 per student each year on electricity. When totaled across the entire school system — the largest in the country—the energy expenses amount to $700 million.

One of the first to make the investment is the Golden Valley Unified School District, which serves approximately 2,000 students in Madera.

In June, Cupertino Electric of San Jose finished up on various solar systems installed at the district’s school sites — Liberty High School, Ranchos Middle School, Webster Elementary School as well as several adult, vocational and continuation schools.

Totaling around 1.12 megawatts, the systems will produce approximately 1,700 megawatt-hours of electricity annually through ground-mounted solar panels ranging from 31 kilowatts to 550 kilowatts as well as solar parking structures at the district’s main office and Webster Elementary.

The $5.1 million project, funded in part by a $3 million low-interest loan and a school district bond, will be offset by net energy savings projected at more than $250,000 by 2017 and potentially up to $9 million over the 25-year lives of the systems.

As well, rebates of $973,531 for five years from Pacific Gas & Electric Co. will allow the district to pay for the solar panels without impacting its general fund.

Another small school district, the Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified School District, which has some 2,300 students, will realize savings of $9 million over the next 25 years through solar panels at three of its five schools.

Installed by SolarCity of San Mateo, Calif., the systems cost the district about $5 million but Superintendent Russell Freitas said he looks to have it paid off in 15 years thanks to electricity savings while fulfilling some other hard-fought goals.

“During these past ten years, school districts have experienced the most difficult financial times, and because of the savings this solar project has created, we are able to bring music instruction back to the district,” said Freitas, referring to budget cuts beginning in 2009 that led the district to eliminate music instruction for grades six through 12.

A few months ago, San Jose-based SunPower finished installing solar power systems totaling 3.7 megawatts for the Porterville Unified School District.

The district, which enrolls around 20,000 students, will be able to save $44 million over the next 25 years thanks to solar panels set up as ground-mounted and elevated sun-tracking systems at six schools.

At a cost of $23 million, the district’s facilities director Owen Fish said the project was well worth the price, covered in full through $25 million in construction bonds approved in 2009.

“We had already started design on a 400-kilowatt system at the adult school and these bonds became available and we transferred to a much larger project,” Fish said. “When we looked at payback 10 years out, it seemed a reasonable payback for solar.”

SunPower also worked with Porterville Unified this summer when it introduced 16 students to hands-on instruction in solar technology during its weeklong career pathway program, the SunPower Solar Academy.

Since its founding in 1985, SunPower has installed 45 megawatts of solar power systems at more than 90 schools. In California alone, the company has installed systems for 10 school districts.

“Today, on-site solar systems at California K-12 schools are delivering millions of dollars of savings that help districts retain teachers and avoid cuts to valuable programs,” said SunPower Corporate Communications Director Ingrid Ekstrom.

IES (Indoor Environmental Services) of Sacramento is currently in the process of building a $13.5-million solar energy project encompassing eight of the 11 campuses in the Selma Unified School District.

With nearly 6,500 students, the district expects to reap $34 million in gross savings over the next 25 years in addition to receiving a $1.4 million rebate from Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and a $125,000 state rebate.

The Clovis Unified School District is looking ahead to a $24-million solar energy project using money from its nearly $300-million Measure A bond passed by voters in June.

Installed as parking structures and a few on play areas built at around 18 of the district’s 47 campuses, the 5.4-megawatt project would take around a year and a half to build.

“Our current energy bill is $7.5 million and we estimated this 5-megawatt system would save about $2 million a year,” said Don Ulrich, assistant superintendent of facility services with Clovis Unified.

Around 90 California school systems, including some colleges, have installed solar panels as a way to save money on energy costs.

According to the California Solar Initiative, a state program that offers rebates to those who install solar power systems, California schools with on-site solar systems are expected to save up to $1.5 billion over the next 30 years, equivalent to 667 new school buses or 46,296 new laptops purchased every year.

San Jose-based SunPower finished installing solar power systems totaling 3.7 megawatts for the Porterville Unified School District.

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Nanotechnology Market Forecast to 2014


QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8In the coming years, nanotechnology is set to play a pivotal role in various industry segments. The evolving technology has already influenced a large number of industrial segments, and the economic activity generated from it has been high in magnitude and wide in scope. The nanotechnology-based products, which have had a huge impact on almost each industrial sector, are now entering the consumer market in a big way. As per the findings of our latest report, increased applications of the technology in sectors like electronics, cosmetics, and defense, would propel the growth of the global nanotechnology market, which is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of about 19% during 2011-2014.

According to “Nanotechnology Market Forecast to 2014”, electronic companies are finding new ways of incorporating nanotechnology into consumer products like music systems and mobile phones in order to improve their processing capabilities. Similarly, the technology could help improve cosmetics by changing their physical properties. We also observed that the use of nanotechnology in defense technologies provides enhanced performance at lower cost. Besides, the budding technology has revolutionalized dental care as it decreases the healing time and improves the Osseo-integration during dental implant. Our report discusses in detail these application areas and the key market trends.

Though nanomaterials would continue to dominate the nanotechnology market in the coming years, nano devices, comprising nanolithographic tools for manufacturing the next generation semi-conductors, are estimated to grow at a much faster rate than nanomaterials in near future. The crucial country-level analysis, included in the comprehensive research, identified that the US is the world’s most prominent nanotechnology market and will continue to enjoy the biggest pie of the global industry.

Besides this, our report covers the global R&D funding for the nanotechnology including break-up for corporate, public and venture capital funding along with their forecast. The regional analysis of different types of funding has also been covered for the present and future. The report even covers country-level analysis of R&D funding to provide in-depth understanding about investment related to nanotechnology.

With a view to providing a balanced outlook of the global nanotechnology market to clients, our report also includes the profiles of key industry players, like Altair, Nanophase Tech and Nanosys, among others. Overall, the objective of the study is to help clients understand the prospects of the industry, and make sound investment decisions in view of those.