Natcore Technology Inc., based in Red Bank, N.J., has reached an agreement with a consortium in China to form a joint-venture company to develop and manufacture film-growth equipment and materials using Natcore's proprietary Liquid Phase Deposition (LPD) technology. The technology would be used in the production of solar cells.
Natcore has signed a letter of intent with the Zhuzhou Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone to form the new company, Natcore China, with rights to manufacture anti-reflective (AR) film-growth equipment and materials. Natcore China will be 55% owned by Natcore Technology, with the Hi-Tech Zone and its partners holding the remaining 45% ownership position.
Natcore's technology was developed at Rice University in Houston. LPD applies an AR coating in a room-temperature chemical bath, making the solar cells significantly cheaper and cleaner to produce, the company says. Existing technology uses a furnace and a vacuum to apply the coating to solar cells, requiring larger amounts of energy and expensive silicon to achieve the thickness needed to withstand the firing.
Natcore China will be funded by an initial $3 million investment consisting of $500,000 contributed by Natcore Technology and $2,500,000 contributed by the Chinese partnership. Natcore China will have the exclusive right to develop, manufacture and sell solar cell AR film-growth equipment in China and a three-year exclusive right to manufacture such equipment for sale outside of China.
SOURCE: Natcore Technology Inc.