North Coast Solar Stocks

July 31, 2009

Entech Solar Unveils Next-Generation Products

Filed under: ENSL — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 8:00 am

Friday July 31, 2009, 8:00 am EDT

FORT WORTH, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Entech Solar (ENSL.OB) (the “Company”, “Entech”) today announced significant progress with its development programs for both its concentrating solar and skylight products. Since March 2009 when Entech suspended manufacturing operations for its previous generation of concentrating solar systems, the Company has been fully dedicated to the design and development of its next-generation products.

Highlights:

* Successful completion of the preliminary design review and prototype of the next-generation concentrating solar product, ThermaVolt™ II
* Filing of multiple provisional patent applications associated with the ThermaVolt II module
* Successful completion of the preliminary design review of the patented tubular skylight

Entech has successfully completed the preliminary design phase of its next-generation product in the ThermaVolt product line, ThermaVolt II, including the construction and operation of a prototype that produces both electricity and thermal energy. Dr. Frank W. Smith, Entech Solar’s Chief Executive Officer, comments, “ThermaVolt II’s combined output of electricity and thermal energy produces four to five times the amount of energy compared to traditional photovoltaic systems. Through the net metering of electricity and the offset of natural gas, ThermaVolt II has the potential to be highly disruptive in the solar energy marketplace.” In addition to Entech’s previous concentrating solar energy patents, the Company has filed a number of new provisional patent applications associated with the ThermaVolt II design and manufacturing process to ensure appropriate protection of the Company’s intellectual property and to allow public disclosure of certain product features and benefits.

ThermaVolt II leverages Entech Solar’s proven optical technology by using its proprietary arched Fresnel lens to provide about 20 times concentration of sunlight onto the solar cells, saving about 95% of the relatively expensive silicon cell material. “For the past 25 years, our arched Fresnel lenses have demonstrated outstanding performance in the real-world environment, and ThermaVolt II will continue to use this proven optical concentrating technology,” said Mark O’Neill, Entech Solar’s Chief Technology Officer. The product’s unique design is applicable for both ground and roof-mount applications, and focuses on low cost, manufacturability, ease of installation, compactness and high reliability.

The ThermaVolt II module’s size and shape are similar to those of a standard flat-plate PV module. The standard dimensions will ease adoption in the marketplace and expands Entech’s addressable market to include rooftop applications. The standard size also allows for a more conventional installation approach, greatly increasing the potential dealer and installer channels to market. In addition, the fully-assembled, compact shape enables palletized shipping, resulting in reduced transportation costs. Additional product details and images of the ThermaVolt II prototype may be found on Entech Solar’s website: http://www.entechsolar.com.

In addition to its improved design, ThermaVolt II leverages well-known, existing semiconductor manufacturing processes using proven, off-the-shelf equipment and can be readily outsourced to low-cost, sub-contract manufacturers. Entech’s ability to outsource the manufacturing of the ThermaVolt II module will allow for more competitive pricing and for readily increasing production volumes.

Since March, the Company has also been dedicating resources to the development of its patented tubular skylight. With significant applicable funding opportunities from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and a growing commercial green building market, Entech Solar has renewed its commitment to commercialize its state-of-the-art tubular skylight. “We view the skylight opportunity as a possible means to diversify and grow our near-term revenue,” states Dr. Smith. Skylight customers benefit from reduced electricity bills and increased productivity from the natural light, resulting in an expected payback period of approximately five years. The manufacturing of the skylight can be easily outsourced, requiring very little capital investment from the Company. Images of Entech’s installed tubular skylights and their lighting performance can be viewed on Entech Solar’s website: http://www.entechsolar.com

Going forward, Entech Solar will continue to focus on the commercialization of both the ThermaVolt II and tubular skylight products. The Company’s next steps in developing the ThermaVolt II module include building a reliable supply chain, completing the UL-certification process, and installing beta sites. The Company’s next steps in developing the tubular skylight product line include building a reliable supply chain and working with roofing companies and energy service companies (ESCOs) on initial installations.

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