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Cutting PV costs, Part 2: Process improvements vs. science breakthroughs

By / September 24, 2009

Yesterday we posted a Technology Review video interview with Emanuel Sachs (1366 Technologies’ chief technology officer and professor of mechanical engineering at MIT) in which he and Craig Lund (1366’s director of business development) discuss some of the new technologies the company is incorporating into PV panels. Sachs did what I think is a very…

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A123 Systems IPO to happen this week? [Update #3]

By / September 24, 2009

That’s what supposed to occur for the nanophospate lithium-ion battery maker, although the exact dates for IPOs are often a little soft. Right now it looks like 9/23/ or 9/24. A123 first announced its intentions to go public last August. A123 Systems was one of the four battery making groups who each received a quarter-billion…

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Two new MacArthur Fellows highlight materials R&D

By / September 22, 2009

The names of the 2009 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellows (the “genius” awards) were announced today, and I want to draw attention to two of the people on the list who are deep in new materials, John Rogers and Ted Zoli. Rogers, whom I first wrote about last October, is a professor…

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Friedman says the solar problem is . . .

By / September 17, 2009

Well, actually it is quite hard to tell what NYT columnist Thomas Friedman is saying about the solar industry. Like a lot of what he writes, his latest worry-fest is profound, yet kinda stupid. His “woe-is-us” premise is that the United States is the font of solar energy technology (not exactly true, although in this…

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Industry headlines

By / September 12, 2009

Kyocera introduces ceramic-metal bonding technologies Kyocera Industrial Ceramics Corp. announces the availability of a wide variety of engineered feedthrough connectors with its ceramic-metal bonding technology. Many of these products are now open tool which meets the specifications of general purpose coaxial connector and multi-pin connectors. Kyocera also offers custom made solutions specific to each customer’s…

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Patrick Gallagher to lead NIST

By / September 11, 2009

The White House and U.S. Department of Commerce announced yesterday that physicist Patrick Gallagher will be nominated to be director of NIST. Gallagher is currently the NIST deputy director. According to a DOC news release Gallagher, came to the NIST Center for Neutron Research in 1993 to pursue research in neutron and X-ray instrumentation and…

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Raw materials strategy 101

By / September 11, 2009

Via RareMetalBlog, here is a timely example of one nation’s strategy, in this case regarding rare earth metals: Japan Accelerates Moves to Secure Rare Metals Both the public and private sectors have begun taking action to secure supplies of rare metals, which are essential materials in the manufacturing of parts for hybrid vehicles and other…

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Who has the strategy for strategic materials?

By / September 10, 2009

Lithium, bauxite, rare earths? As ACerS corporate member Don Bubar, of Avalan Rare Metals, told CNBC yesterday (in something of an understated way), “There is a global scramble to secure supplies of raw materials . . . and we need to think a little bit longer term than we have in the past.” Don’s point…

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Giant solar farms in the works in China, India and U.S.

By / September 10, 2009

First Solar announced yesterday that it and the Chinese government had agreed upon a memorandum of understanding that, if a few more bridges are crossed, will result in a 2 gigawatt solar power plant in Ordos City, Inner Mongolia, China. That’s a huge plant. A story in today’s Wall Street Journal reports that it will…

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Chinese refractory market research report now available

By / September 8, 2009

Reportlinker.com announced that a new market research report is available in its catalog. The report, China refractory material product manufacturing industry, 2008-2009, is summarized below. In the past three years, China’s annual output of refractory materials has grown steadily, accounting for nearly a half of the world total. The causes for this can be attributed…

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