Oct 3, 2012 - Two solar technology innovators, Solexel and Clear Jet, made it to the Top 10 Innovative Companies list of US technology advisory firm Lux Research for the third quarter of 2012.
Solexel took the number-one position with a “wait and see” rating which notes that there is still too much uncertainty around the firm for a definitive call. The company joined the ranking thanks to its epitaxially grown, thin, kerfless, crystalline silicon (x-Si) wafers with a cell efficiency of 19%, which according to Lux have the high potential to significantly cut the cost of X-Si solar cells.
Clear Jet, on the other hand, is making transparent conductive films for solar panels and devices such as displays and touch screens. It ranked fifth with a “wait and see” tag in Lux’s list as a result of a process using the coffee ring effect -- silver nanoparticle go to the outside of inkjet droplets, forming a series of interlocking rings. The company is yet to overcome many challenges in scaling the process, but “it has the potential to lower costs long term”.
Two other companies involved in the renewable energy sector were also present in the Top 10. Green fuel research firm Sweetwater Energy came seventh, “wait and see”, with its technology that combines dilute acid pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis “to tailor sugar streams and reduce inhibitors, with a distributed plant model that targets low cost feedstock.” Energy storage technology firm Prudent Energy was 10th with a “positive” tag. According to Lux the company is the first active flow battery maker that operates commercially in the energy storage market. The vanadium redox flow battery developer makes its own membranes, electrolyte, and also fetches its own supply of vanadium to ensure lower costs across its value chain.
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