Cardinal Solar Technologies
Awarded $7.7 Million Tax Credit
Cardinal Solar Technologies (ST) in Spring Green, Wis., a fully owned
subsidiary of Cardinal Glass Industries, has been awarded a $7.7 million
tax credit under President Obama’s stimulus plan in order to re-tool its
Northfield, Minn., facility. The credit is available upon the facility’s
progression from residential door and window coating operations to production
of thin film coatings for use in the manufacturing of solar modules.
Andy Jensen, vice president/general manager of Cardinal ST, explains that
the process of earning the tax credit began when the company completed
and submitted a formal 48C tax credit application in October 2009. The
tax credit is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which
is focused on building a robust domestic manufacturing capacity to supply
clean and renewable energy projects with American-made parts and equipment.
Cardinal’s research and development team spent the past three years developing
thin film coatings to be used by solar module manufacturers. These thin
film coatings (transparent conductive oxide, anti-reflective and low maintenance
photocatalytic) will be tailored to specific customer module requirements
to optimize their energy production.
“Once our thin film development work is completed, it will take us approximately
six months to re-tool our Northfield coating operation,” Jensen says.
He adds that Cardinal’s large area thin film coating process enables the
company’s solar thin films to be engineered to match customer requirements
while maintaining a low cost.
At this time, Jensen says the company “will be maintaining the current
staffing levels, but with the expected growth in the solar industry over
the next couple years we are optimistic that the Northfield operation
will benefit from that growth.”
He says they do not have any plans at this time to open additional solar
facilities, but it is something that could be considered in the future.
“As one of the world’s leading technology companies in glass and thin
film coatings we are ready to react to the opportunities that the solar
industry will bring to the United States over the next several years,”
Jensen says. “We believe that the stimulus plan will be one significant
step to encourage renewable energy projects in the United States and will
drive demand for our solar customer’s products.
SynergX Systems Inspect Photovoltaic Glass
SynergX Technologies Inc. in Laval, Quebec, is offering glass scan systems
to provide solar glass and panel manufacturers with yield management and
a quality control solution for the inspection of both continuous and cut
sheets of clear and patterned glass. High-resolution cameras provide accurate
detection, sizing and classification of defects, including open and closed
bubbles, black and white stones, scratches and edge defects.
New Energy Achieves Transparency in Electricity-Generating Windows
New Energy Technologies Inc. in Burtonsville, Md., currently developing
SolarWindow™ technologies capable of generating electricity on glass windows,
announced on January 4 that researchers have overcome a significant scientific
hurdle in creating clear solar glass. By replacing a visibility-blocking
solid metal component with environmentally friendly, non-metallic, transparent
compounds it has created a first-of-its kind see-through glass.
“Metal materials block visibility, and are arguably the most important
hindrance to developing a commercially viable solar glass window product,”
says Meetesh V. Patel, president and chief executive officer. “We have
successfully replaced the metal contact component … with non-metallic
compounds and, in so doing, achieved significantly greater transparency,
a key factor in advancing our technology along the commercial product
To-date, one of the biggest obstacles faced by researchers developing
the technology has been the presence of metal, an opaque material that
blocks all visibility and prevents light from passing through glass. Eliminating
metal has proved especially challenging since the metal component acts
as the negative ‘polar contact,’ an important function in collecting the
electricity generated from solar cells on the surface of the glass. The
new compounds now function as the negative polar contact and collect electricity
from the window.
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