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SBIR Supports Company's Technology to Make Solar Panel Manufacturing More Efficient
AccuStrata Inc., a company in the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute's Technology Advancement Program incubator developing intelligent, real-time optical control systems that improve the manufacturing yield and efficiency of thin-film solar panels, has been awarded a $70,000, phase-one Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, university officials announce today.
AccuStrata will use the funding to refine its field-tested, patent-protected system for monitoring the effectiveness of thin-film solar panel production in real time, enabling manufacturers to make on-the-fly adjustments and ensure panels' efficiency.
"This funding will enable us to advance our novel thin-film solar panel manufacturing control system," says George Atanasoff, president of AccuStrata. "Our pilot tests in real production environments have shown that solar cells manufactured with our system should be able to produce 15-20 percent more power, resulting in increased revenue and profit for manufacturers."
AccuStrata is developing solutions for both thin-film solar panel and crystalline silicon solar cell manufacturers. The company also plans to enter additional markets using thin-film deposition, such as nanotechnology, touch screen displays, and high-brightness LEDs.
In late 2009, AccuStrata won a $150,000, phase-one Department of Energy Small Business Innovation Research grant. In June 2009, the company received a National Science Foundation phase-one SBIR grant for $100,000. In August 2009, the company won another DOE Supply Chain grant for $150,000. The company also received funding from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation through the Maryland Technology Transfer Fund.
AccuStrata was selected as the Maryland Incubator Company of the Year in 2008 and was again nominated for Maryland Incubator Company of the Year in 2009.
AccuStrata Inc. is a College Park, Md.-based company developing an intelligent, real-time optical control system able to improve thin-film photovoltaic (solar cell) manufacturing, resulting in higher conversion efficiency and reduced cost. As a result of the company's solution, solar cells produce more power, resulting in increased revenue and profit for manufacturers.
About the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) Technology Advancement Program (TAP)
For over 20 years, TAP has helped entrepreneurs build some of the most successful technology companies in the mid-Atlantic region. TAP's staff is comprised of seasoned veterans of startups and venture capital firms who provide business advice and support, market intelligence, introductions, access to funding and other critical assistance that can accelerate the growth of technology ventures. TAP offers furnished offices and flexible lab space as well as a multitude of other benefits and services that can only be found at a technology business incubator situated right on the campus of one of the nation's top public universities, the University of Maryland. TAP was the first technology business incubator in the state of Maryland and is the birthplace of two of Maryland's billion dollar companies: Gaithersburg-based Digene Corporation (now part of Qiagen) and Columbia-based Martek Biosciences. (www.tap.umd.edu)
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