SOURCE: XeroCoat, Inc.

July 07, 2008 17:30 ET

XeroCoat®, Inc. Enters Solar Energy Market With Anti-Reflective Coating for Increasing Solar System Conversion Efficiency

Maximizes Solar Energy Transmission, Applies Across All Solar Technologies

REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwire - July 7, 2008) - XeroCoat, Inc., a pioneering Silicon Valley start-up, today officially announced its entry into the solar energy market. Targeting the solar thermal and solar photovoltaic segments, XeroCoat designs and manufactures a high-performing anti-reflective coating for solar energy systems. Applicable across all solar energy technologies, the XeroCoat anti-reflective coating technology can significantly increase conversion efficiency and, consequently, the power output of solar systems in a very cost-effective manner. XeroCoat's technology offers the advantages of superior solar energy transmission, exceptional durability, and lends itself to high-volume, low cost manufacturing. Founded by two University of Queensland, Australia researchers, XeroCoat is headquartered in Redwood City, California and maintains its research and development base in Brisbane, Queensland. The company has an international team of leading optical materials and solar energy scientists and engineers who are focused on continuous innovation of coatings for the solar energy industry. XeroCoat has just signed a contract with a large solar thermal manufacturer to provide the anti-reflective coating for their demonstration line. In addition, the company is actively engaged in demonstrating XeroCoat's technology to several leading photovoltaic module and solar thermal system manufacturers.

"At XeroCoat, we're strongly committed to making solar energy more affordable for all today," stated Tom Hood, chief executive officer and president of XeroCoat. "Our customers are aggressively seeking cost-effective solutions to lower manufacturing costs and increase the conversion efficiency of their solar systems. The XeroCoat anti-reflective coating offers a very simple and cost-effective way to get the most power out of the sun. In addition, our ability to partner with solar energy systems manufacturers and glass suppliers allows for great flexibility to control costs and logistics in the supply chain."

Increases Energy Returns, Lowers Manufacturing Costs

By using the XeroCoat anti-reflective coating on a photovoltaic module, the solar energy reaching the solar cells is increased by as much as 3% at noon and by as much as 6% at early morning and evening hours. This means that solar module makers can expect a 3% increase in power output on a peak watt (Wp) basis, and a 4% increase in energy produced on a kilowatt-hour (kWhr) basis. This improvement is equivalent to increasing the efficiency of a solar cell by approximately 0.5-0.75% points, without having to modify the cell or module manufacturing process. For solar system owners, XeroCoat's anti-reflective coating increases the energy output per module, which translates to higher revenue, especially in locations with a feed-in tariff. In addition, because the peak watt per module is higher, fewer modules are needed to achieve the same total solar system watt rating, resulting in balance of system's cost savings.

Anti-Reflective Coatings Increase Power Output

The ultimate measure of success for a photovoltaic module is conversion efficiency -- the number which tells us how much of the sun's light energy is converted to electricity. Photovoltaic modules suffer from reduced conversion efficiency even before the sun's light reaches the solar cells. This is because the solar module's protective cover glass reflects some of the incident light. For typical glass panels, depending on the time of day, 4% to 15% and more of the incoming light is lost from reflections and, thus, is not available to generate electricity. Applying an anti-reflective coating to the cover glass of the module will reduce these reflections and increase the module's output power. Today, anti-reflective coatings for the solar module cover glass are used in less than 5% of photovoltaic solar systems. Current commercial PV technologies convert 10%-20% of the incoming light to electricity. The same module with a suitable anti-reflective coating can deliver an additional 0.3%-0.6% power conversion. A product achieving higher conversion efficiency in a cost-effective manner can make solar modules more affordable. Delivering high performance requires that the anti-reflective coating reduces reflections and maximizes the solar energy available for conversion into electricity across the broadest range of wavelengths and angles possible. While multi-layer coatings were the traditional solution, they add cost and reflect sunlight more than uncoated glass at certain incident angles. The combination of a single-layer optical coating and graded low-refractive index enables XeroCoat's anti-reflective coating to achieve the highest attainable optical performance for any type of solar cover glass.

XeroCoat Technology Highlights

        Feature                    Benefit                  Result
------------------------- ------------------------ ------------------------
A single-layer optical    Increases Wp by 3%.      Higher power conversion
coating enables superior  Increases kWhr by 4%.    efficiency
solar energy
transmission over the
solar spectrum at broad
incident angles to
maximize the solar
energy available for
electricity.
------------------------- ------------------------ ------------------------
Rigorous testing to       Meets IEC 61215 module   Durable over the solar
industry and company      test standards.          module lifetime.
standards.                Exceeds current industry
                          standards for abrasion
                          resistance.
------------------------- ------------------------ ------------------------
A drop-in replacement.    Does not require changes Cost-effective
Unique process -- a       to existing poly or      manufacturing.
single layer liquid       mono-crystalline module
coating step followed by  manufacturing process.
a low temperature curing  Lends itself to
step.                     high-volume, low cost
                          manufacturing as well as
                          thin film processes.
------------------------- ------------------------ ------------------------
Uses non-toxic,           High material            Environmentally friendly
recyclable coating        utilization and quick    process.
materials and a low       energy payback.
energy manufacturing
process.
------------------------- ------------------------ ------------------------
The technology is applied Allows customers to      Flexibility to control
to any glass type, size,  obtain or choose a glass costs and logistics in
and from any supplier.    cover solution that      the supply chain.
                          combines the best glass
                          with the best coating.
------------------------- ------------------------ ------------------------
Applicable across all     Cost-effectively         Increases solar energy
solar energy              increases the percentage affordability and
technologies:             of solar energy          enables broader
Photovoltaic --           converted to             market adoption.
crystalline, thin film,   electricity.
and concentrating -- to
solar thermal.
------------------------- ------------------------ ------------------------

XeroCoat was founded by Dr. Michael Harvey and Associate Professor Paul Meredith from the University of Queensland, Australia. During the start-up phase, the company was strongly supported by the Queensland Government as recipients of funding under the Queensland Sustainable Energy Innovation Fund and Innovation Start-Up schemes. Dr. Michael Harvey is XeroCoat's chief technology officer and is based in the USA. A Smart State Senior Fellow, Associate Professor Meredith is XeroCoat's vice president for materials development and runs the company's R&D and technology development program from laboratories at the University of Queensland.

XeroCoat will showcase its product at Intersolar 2008 in San Francisco from July 15-17. The company can be found in the Moscone West Convention Center, Third Hall, Booth Number 9648. In addition, Tom Hood, CEO of XeroCoat, will make a presentation at Intersolar's Innovation Exchange on Wednesday, July 16. More information can be found at www.xerocoat.com.

About XeroCoat

XeroCoat is a pioneering start-up company that designs and manufactures a high-performing anti-reflective coating for solar energy systems. XeroCoat's innovative technology delivers greater solar energy affordability today by decreasing manufacturing costs for solar module makers and increasing energy returns for solar system owners. Founded in Queensland, Australia and headquartered in Redwood City, California, XeroCoat has an international team of world-class optical materials and solar energy scientists and engineers who are focused on continuous innovation of coating for the solar energy industry. For more information, visit www.xerocoat.com.

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