I love finding stocks that meet glaring needs within a particular industry…companies with technology that can dramatically improve efficiencies and even open new markets by expanding applications within an industry.
I especially love finding these stocks when the company has heavily patented the game-changing technology and is on the verge of commercializing it with top-tier partners.
Meet NanoFlex Power Corporation (OPVS)
NanoFlex Power Corporation (web site) researches, develops, commercializes, and licenses advanced configuration solar technologies that enable thin-film solar cell implementations. The company has worldwide license and right to sublicense intellectual property resulting from its sponsored research programs. Its research programs have yielded two solar thin film technology platforms, which include Gallium Arsenide thin film technology for high power applications; and organic photovoltaic technology for applications demanding high quality aesthetics, such as semi-transparency, and tinting and ultra-flexible form factors.
NanoFlex Power targets applications comprising mobile and off-grid power generation, building applied photovoltaics, building integrated photovoltaics, space vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles, semi-transparent photovoltaic windows or glazing, and ultra-thin solar films or paints for automobiles or other consumer applications. It has developed laboratory feasibility prototypes that demonstrate key building block principles for these applications. NanoFlex Power Corporation was founded in 1994 and is based in Scottsdale, Arizona.
- Loading stock data...
Shares outstanding: 58.8 million
Closing price 10/4/16: .91
Market capitalization: $53.5 million
Approximate float: 21.5 million
52 week high: $3.00
52 week low: .31
NanoFlex Power (OPVS) is Commercializing Two Solar Technologies of the Future:
Ultra-High Efficiency Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) Solar Cells
Organic Photovoltaic (OPV) Solar Cells
Ultra-High Efficiency Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) Solar Cells
Gallium arsenide (GaAs) based solar cells hold the record when it comes to the efficiency. GaAs-based solar cells also produce far more energy in high heat conditions as well as low light conditions. Simply put, the chemical and physical properties of GaAs make it the undisputed choice for high efficiency solar cells. As a result, virtually all satellites and space-bound vehicles are powered by GaAs solar cells.
So what’s kept GaAs solar cells from being the go-to technology here on earth? Cost. Despite its ultra-high efficiency, the manufacturing process for gallium arsenide solar cells has been prohibitively expensive for terrestrial use, and this is where NanoFlex comes in.
NanoFlex Power’s Patented Technology Can Dramatically Slash Manufacturing Cost for GaAs Solar Cells
NanoFlex Power has a patented process that dramatically reduces the cost (> 90%) of GaAs solar cell production.
The production of the parent wafer is by far the most expensive part of the manufacturing process for GaAs solar cells. By using what NanoFlex refers to as “Non-Destructive Epitaxial Liftoff” (ND-ELO), the parent wafer in the manufacturing process is recycled and used again and again to make hundreds of lifted-off, flexible, thin films. NanoFlex Power has demonstrated that the GaAs cells produced from subsequent cycles maintain the same ultra-high performance characteristics as those from the initial cycle. The process also enables ultra-high performance GaAs solar materials to be available on flexible and lightweight thin-film materials for use in a much wider variety of applications.
NanoFlex’s cost breakthroughs in GaAs solar cell production creates the highest performance, flexible solar solution at the lowest cost per Watt.
A leading provider of solar cells and solar panels to satellite and spacecraft OEMs has taken notice of NanoFlex Power’s patented low-cost GaAs production process.
In August of 2015, NanoFlex Power signed a Joint Development Agreement with SolAero Technologies for “development of Gallium Arsenide (“GaAs”) solar cells utilizing NanoFlex Power’s proprietary manufacturing processes.”
There are three things investors need to know about this agreement:
- SolAero Technologies (web site) is a leading provider of solar cells and solar panels to satellite and spacecraft OEMs and has powered >170 space missions
- The agreement validates NanoFlex’s low cost GaAs solar cell production technology as it moves from R&D to commercialization
- The agreement provides a low-risk, rapid path to commercialization
SolAero has a team of engineers working on implementing NanoFlex technology in their manufacturing process & in their production-configuration solar cells.
The commercial applications arising from NanoFlex’s low-cost GaAs solar fabrication method are mind-boggling. Combine an ultra-high efficiency solar power source that’s highly flexible, extremely thin, can be used use in high heat and low light situations, and is now (thanks to NanoFlex Power) cost effective to manufacture, and it becomes easy to see why the leading provider of solar cells and solar panels to satellite and spacecraft OEMs is teaming up with them.
Organic Photovoltaics (OPV)
The second game-changing solar technology NanoFlex Power is developing is in organic photovoltaics (OPV).
First generation solar technologies are predominantly composed of silicon based, inorganic materials. These thick, inflexible, solar cells currently account for around 80% of all solar panels sold globally. Inorganic solar cells have lower absorptivities than organic materials, requiring thicker absorbing layers, and high purities (and high costs) to insure efficient operation.
OPV solar cells use carbon-based polymers in an aim to provide an Earth-abundant and low-energy-production photovoltaic solution. OPV has the theoretical potential to provide electricity at a lower cost than first- and second-generation solar technologies. Because various absorbers can be used to create colored or transparent OPV devices, this technology is particularly appealing to the building-integrated solar market.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, OPV solar technology promises the following benefits:
- Low-cost manufacturing: Soluble organic molecules enable roll-to-roll processing techniques and allow for low-cost manufacturing
- Abundant materials: The wide abundance of building-block materials may reduce supply and price constraints
- Flexible substrates: The ability to be applied to flexible substrates permits a wide variety of uses
The Most Extensive Patent Portfolio of OPV Technologies in the World + Top Tier Research Partners
NanoFlex Power claims the most extensive patent portfolio of OPV technologies in the world, holding exclusive rights to over 130 issued and pending U.S. patents, plus foreign counterparts, which cover architecture, processes and materials for high efficiency solar technologies and flexible, thin-film organic photovoltaics.
OPV is still a developing technology, and has some efficiency limitations as well as less long-term reliability than silicon-based cells. As a result, research focuses on increasing device efficiency and lifetime. Substantial efficiency gains have been achieved already by improving the absorber material, and research is being done to further optimize the absorbers and develop organic multijunction architectures. Improved encapsulation and alternative contact materials are being investigated to reduce cell degradation and push cell lifetimes to industry-relevant values.
NanoFlex’s approach has been to advance all dimensions of OPV technology, including the development of new materials (some of which are now being sold in small quantities by materials suppliers), new high efficiency device architectures, and ultra-high-speed, energy efficient production processes such as organic vapor phase deposition developed in the company’s research partner’s laboratories, and solar cell modulization.
NanoFlex’s research partners at the University of Southern California and the University of Michigan are world leaders in OPV research. These sponsored research agreements provide NanoFlex Power with the exclusive worldwide license and right to sublicense any and all intellectual property resulting from the related research and development.
Opening New Applications for Present and Near Future
NanoFlex has been able to form the basis for exciting new products, applications, and capabilities with patented developments in both Organic and Inorganic Photovoltaics. By redefining the materials, architectures, and fabrication processes to radically decrease cost while enabling a far more flexible and lightweight form factor, new products and markets are on the horizon.
NanoFlex’s patented, low-cost GaAs production method will dramatically reduce the cost of high performance solar arrays for aerospace applications.
SolAero Technologies and NanoFlex’s joint development agreement validates the patented NanoFlex production technology and opens multiple pathways for near term revenue generation from licensing.
The combination of GaAs’ high efficiency with a lightweight thin-film form factor and competitive cost (due to NanoFlex Power’s patented technology) opens off-grid and mobile power markets to solar. The versatility and cost of this new process will enable some incredible new applications and products that would not be possible with the current constraints of solar technology.
Lightweight and flexible solar mats and sheets can be used in remote areas to provide power. These solar mats can be used by emergency response teams, in disaster situations, and in a multitude of military applications. Moreover, emerging markets often lack access to reliable electricity. For these people, solar power can provide them with a basic need to support their lighting, heating, and communications needs.
Gone will be the large, rigid, cumbersome solar panels and in their place will be windows and glass surfaces of buildings. Tinted semi-transparent OPV photovoltaic films could be used to coat all of the windows of a building, which will in turn generate electricity that will ultimately be used within the building.
NanoFlex’s technology lowers the cost of higher efficiency technologies and introduces flexible form factors that reduce installation costs and provides a more aesthetic look.
We’ve all seen solar panels on buildings, but imagine an entirely solar-powered building. You could witness this in the not too distant future, thanks to NanoFlex Power’s breakthroughs in organic photovoltaics technology.
Imagine if by simply painting a car, you could allow it to convert the sun’s energy to power its electronics or charge its battery.
Photovoltaic paints are a possibility using OPV technology.
NanoFlex Power’s proprietary organic materials can be produced at the molecular level, which enables them to be applied to highly flexible and non-planar surfaces through the application of an ultra-thin solar coating.
World Class Research Partners, Management, and Development Partners
It’s always exciting to catch an ultra high-tech company as it’s moving from R&D and into commercialization and revenue generation, which is where NanoFlex Power is now.
With some of the world’s best research partners, a strong, experienced, superbly qualified management team, and a top tier joint development partner in SolAero Technologies, I’m really looking forward to following the company closely.
I’ll be sharing new developments with subscribers in the coming weeks and months as NanoFlex Power (OPVS) moves from R&D to revenue generation.
Supplemental: NanoFlex (OPVS) August, 2016 Investor Presentation
Best wishes for profitable investing,