BioSolar, Inc. surprised attendees at today's SPIE Symposium on Solar Applications and Energy in San Diego by revealing that materials derived from cotton and castor beans compose the company's proprietary BioBacksheet(TM), a protective covering, traditionally made from expensive petroleum-based film, used in the back of virtually all photovoltaic solar cells.
“Until today, this information has remained highly-guarded over the past 18 months as BioSolar established academic and industry credibility,” said BioSolar Chairman and CEO, Dr. David Lee. “Now that our technology is strongly protected both domestically and abroad, we are able to share this exciting news with the public.”
While not revealing core proprietary or patent-pending elements of the intellectual property, BioSolar's Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Stan Levy, divulged in his presentation today that the bio-based components are a composite of cellulosic material derived from cotton, combined with an arcane nylon (nylon 11) derived from castor beans. Dr. Levy detailed the procedures and results of the company's 18-month product development effort to engineer the BioBacksheet™ from non-food, plant-based materials. He provided an in-depth look at the science and applied technology behind the unique bio-sustainable formulation and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes used to create the company's BioBacksheet™ product. The two sustainably sourced components are combined utilizing the company's proprietary manufacturing process.
“We have demonstrated that functional photovoltaic backsheets can be produced from renewable resources,” said Dr. Levy. “We believe that the BioBacksheet™ is a viable alternative to backsheets currently in use. Not only is this product produced from sustainable and renewable resources, but is expected to be more cost effective than the current backsheets.”
“Also, manufacturers currently enduring a six-month wait for materials like DuPont's petroleum-based Tedlar protective material will undoubtedly be interested in this development,” added Dr. Lee.
Dr. Levy further highlighted the fact that the materials – both individually and in combination – meet or exceed the characteristics of various testing and performance standards for the photovoltaic industry. While additional testing is being conducted as part of the run-up to full-scale production, no fundamental problems have been found with the product up to this point.
Dr. Lee gave high praise to Dr. Levy and the development team's efforts. Commenting on the response to the presentation, Dr. Lee said, “As a publicly traded company we have a responsibility to our shareholders to maximize the value of their investment. With this presentation, Dr. Levy has laid out the exciting results of the past year-and-a-half's hard work. This tremendous success and the positive feedback from those manufacturers who have been testing our product samples are guiding our drive to full production capacity.”
SPIE Optics+Photonics is the largest and most technically prestigious optical sciences and technology meeting in North America. The Solar Energy + Applications track of the conference is dedicated to finding ways to move toward secure, affordable, and environmentally sustainable energy to meet the world's accelerating energy needs.