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Started 6/30/1996, updated 12/15/2010 - Energy Conversion Devices, Nasdaq ENER, owns the controlling patents on several technologies that will become part of our everyday lives:
Solar Panels - Available now through solar outlets, and being used by large roofing contractors.
Nickel Metal Hydride batteries - Being manufactured by licensees as consumer batteries and for hybrid cars.
Non-volatile computer memory - Under license with Intel, Samsung, STMicroelectronics, and BAE, among others.
Hydride tanks for hydrogen storage - Under development.
Regenerative Fuel Cell - Under development.
OLED Displays under development with GE.
More Detailed Information
Solar panels. Unisolar, ENER's wholly owned subsidiary, has developed a roll to roll process of manufacturing solar cells. Produced using a thin stainless steel sheet, our solar laminates have a huge advantage in a fast-growing rooftop market, where they can be installed without damaging the roof or requiring expensive racking systems necessary for conventional glass-based solar applications.
Installed in 2010, our 25 megawatt Enel Green Power project in Italy is currently the largest commercial rooftop project in the world. We sell our PV laminates principally for commercial and industrial rooftop applications, however we are partnering with leading building materials manufacturers such as CertainTeed to develop a new generation of green, sustainable energy solutions for the housing market, such as the new EnerGenTM Photovoltaic Solar Power Roofing System – introduced in January 2010. Unlike other photovoltaic systems on the market, EnerGen is specifically designed with building professionals and conventional roofing contractors in mind, offering ease of installation and vastly improved aesthetics for homeowners by seamlessly integrating UNI-SOLAR® laminates with traditional asphalt roofing shingles.
In 2011 we will be launching an enhanced 10% efficiency product followed by improvement to 12%, which will bring our system price per watt to an even more competitive levelized cost of energy. This nano-crystalline technology will allow us to target conversion efficiencies of 12% by 2012.
Some of our installations can be seen here.
1. NiMH Batteries ECD's rechargeable Nickel Metal Hydride batteries are quickly replacing Nickel Cadmium in many consumer products such as cell phones and camcorders. ECD has signed license agreements with most of the major consumer battery companies, and receives royalties from them.
Transportation NiMH batteries are in widespread commercial use in hybrid electric vehicles where the NiMH chemistry offers proven cost, safety, performance and durability. The electrification of vehicles worldwide in hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in HEV, and pure battery electric vehicles is expected to be a high growth opportunity for rechargeable batteries, although there is significant competition in these transportation segments from emerging technologies such as lithium ion.
Non-volatile computer memory, also known as Ovonic Unified Memory (OUM), CRAM or PC-RAM. OUM utilizes a proprietary phase change chalcogenide alloy to store non-volatile information economically and with excellent solid state memory properties. A computer utilizing OUM could be turned off, then turned back on immediately, or 10 years later, and be started right up where it left off. These OUM computers would not be subject to critical data loss when the system hangs up or when power is abruptly lost as are present day computers using DRAM a/o SRAM.
The operating speed of OUM memory technology is similar to DRAM and many orders of magnitude faster than Flash write. Also, unlike conventional Flash memory, OUM memory is randomly accessible for memory addressing. Further, Flash memory wears out (fails) after 100,000 write cycles, while the OUM memory state can be written greater than a trillion times, making this memory useful for program storage (Flash) as well as general purpose interactive (DRAM) data storage memory.
OUM has direct applications in all products presently using solid state memory, including desktop, laptop, and palm computers, cell phones, graphics-3D rendering, GPS, video conferencing, multi-media, Internet networking and interfacing, entertainment, digital TV, telecom, PDA, digital voice recorders, modems, DVD, networking (ATM), Ethernet, and pagers. OUM offers a way to realize full system-on-a-chip capability through integrating unified memory, linear, and logic on the same silicon chip.
We own 32.4% of the common stock of Ovonyx. In addition to our equity interest in Ovonyx, we receive 0.5% of the Ovonyx annual gross revenue as a royalty. Ovonyx has entered into royalty-bearing, nonexclusive license agreements with Intel Corporation, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Elpida Memory, Inc., STMicroelectronics N.V., BAE Systems, Hynix Semiconductor, Inc., and Numonyx B.V. (acquired by Micron Technology, Inc.), to produce OUM products. Under most of these agreements, Ovonyx has participated in joint development programs to assist in the commercialization of OUM phase-change memory products. Ovonyx is self-funded, with no cost to ENER.
Stan Ovshinsky, the founder of Energy Conversion Devices, has been called by some as one of the greatest inventors of our century. Any one of these technologies that he invented has the potential to generate huge revenues.
More information can be found at ECD's web site, ovonic.com
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