President’s Message

natcore-president-chuck-provini

Natcore has always been a good blend of business and science. Our scientific team develops things that others have not thought of while our business component ensures that there is a path to commercialization.

Our Best of Breed Consulting business is a direct result of the industry knowing about our technology and wanting to be part of it. We leveraged that interest into a consulting business that coordinates solar farm developers, cell manufacturers, panel manufacturers and builders.   Our relationships with developers have emphasized an important component of our technology that could have three great short-term benefits to Natcore with respect to commercialization and revenue.

Two of the benefits of our Foil Cell technology are obvious: higher efficiency and lower cost. A third benefit may be more subtle but apparently more important to the industry on a short-term basis. That third component is something called Cell-To-Module (CTM) energy loss.

A solar cell is a very sophisticated and delicate device. It is made in clean rooms with very low tolerances for error. This very sophisticated cell is then put into a very inefficient glass box — a solar panel — and that transition typically causes a 5%-10% energy loss in the cell. Back contact cells give much better (lower) CTM numbers, but they are normally expensive. Our cell approach, combined with a unique way that the cells can be joined in the solar panel, can virtually eliminate this Cell To-Module energy loss in an extremely cost effective way.

For a developer of large solar projects, like our projects in Australia and Vietnam, 5% to 10% more power has an enormous impact on the economics of a project. Developers have recently begun to urge us — quite aggressively — to begin producing larger cells that are appropriately sized to immediately integrate into panels. In other words, they want to quantify and realize the benefits of our CTM advantages as soon as possible.

As you know, our current cells are consistently yielding efficiencies of just under 21%. While these are higher efficiencies than are found in most current commercial cells, and while our projections show our technology will achieve efficiencies well into the mid-twenties at very low cost, we’re discovering that our unique Cell-To-Module advantage could provide a quicker and more direct path to commercialization and revenue.

We currently work with smaller cells in the lab because it is cost efficient and allows us shorter turn-around time in experiments. Our scientists are now doing what is necessary to move our technology to standard-size cells that could be used sooner in the industry.

The business side of our team is listening to the marketplace and what the industry wants. The scientific side is adjusting our priorities a bit to fill that need. Bottom line: Feedback from the industry continues to demonstrate that our truly unique technology will change the solar energy paradigm.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know.

Chuck Provini, President, CEO & Director