Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Investorideas.com - The Evolution of the Solar Industry; Q&A with Tom Djokovich, CEO of XsunX, Inc. (OTCBB: XSNX), Developing CIGSolar™, CIGS Thin Film Solar Technology

Investorideas.com - The Evolution of the Solar Industry; Q&A with Tom Djokovich, CEO of XsunX, Inc. (OTCBB: XSNX), Developing CIGSolar™, CIGS Thin Film Solar Technology

August 3, 2010 (Investorideas.com renewable energy/green newswire) Investorideas.com and its green investor portals provide the following Q&A for investors following solar stocks and the solar industry, with Tom Djokovich, CEO of XsunX, Inc. (OTCBB: XSNX), a solar Company developing CIGSolar™ Technology.

Q: Investorideas.com
Tom, your company has been in the solar industry for years and witnessed the changes in technology. Crystalline silicon photovoltaic technology, first developed over 50 years ago is now being surpassed with greater efficiencies with thin film. It is a race for greater efficiencies. For investors, can you give us your inside perspective on the changes in the industry and how your company has evolved with the industry?

A: Tom Djokovich, CEO of XsunX, Inc. (OTCBB: XSNX)
The industry is certainly evolving in a number of areas. Silicon has been the dominant technology and still is today with about 8 out of every 10 solar modules made using silicon. While I do not see this changing overnight thin films have begun to make major in roads into the market, but so far this has been due to lower per watt pricing.
The next opportunity for thin films to compete and surpass silicon's dominance will be driven by offering lower costs and silicon type performance. That is where XsunX is focusing its efforts with a next generation thin film technology based on Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide "CIGS”. CIGS holds the record for thin film efficiencies at nearly 20% so it holds the potential to delivery silicon type efficiencies, but is also benefits from lower production costs. As a matter of fact CIGS is where a number of industry experts believe that the next major costs reductions will come from.

Q: Investorideas.com
XsunX, Inc. (OTCBB: XSNX) is working a next generation of solar, developing CIGSolar™ Technology. Can you tell us what CIGS thin film solar is and what are its advantages?

A: Tom Djokovich, CEO of XsunX, Inc. (OTCBB: XSNX)
CIGS has several characteristics that make it one of the most valuable and promising PV materials.
First, is CIGS's absorption coefficient (how easily it absorbs and converts solar energy into electricity), which is among the highest for semiconductor materials used to make solar cells. Ninety-nine percent of the light incident on a CIGS based solar cell is absorbed in the first micrometer of the device. This provides the opportunity to produce thinner films and to reduce material costs significantly.
Next, CIGS films retain their performance properties better and do not degrade as rapidly as other thin-films such as CdTe and A-Si used for thin film PV. Since solar modules will be required to operate for many tens of years this benefit allows CIGS solar modules to produce power closer to their original performance potential well into the future.
Thirdly, CIGS is also amenable to automated production techniques. Today, thin-films enjoy low production costs that stem from combining automated production processes with low material costs. Unfortunately, today's thin-film PV offerings also offer low conversion efficiencies when compared to silicon PV technologies. CIGS offers a viable opportunity to utilize automated manufacturing techniques while not sacrificing PV conversion potential.
And lastly, thin film solar cells made from CIGS absorbers show great promise in achieving the highest thin-film conversion efficiencies approaching 20% and more. CIGS currently holds the world record for thin-film conversion efficiency at 19.9%. This may make CIGS one of the only truly viable thin-film candidates to compete with silicon.

Q: Investorideas.com
One of the industry players in thin film solar, Solyndra was one of the first solar companies funded through the Department of Energy under Secretary Chu, with a guaranteed a $535 million loan so that the company could build its factory. In your recent update in a letter to shareholders, you reported
IBIS Associates, a technology strategy and business development consulting company based in Waltham, Massachusetts was preparing your submission for the latest DOE Funding Opportunity (DOE-FOA-0000234), tasked with determining the potential total annual impact of XsunX's CIGSolar™ technology in terms of the overall PV industry by comparing it to the declining cost of traditional multi-crystalline silicon cells over a five-year time horizon.
IBIS quantified these savings in terms of Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), by utilizing the National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL's) Solar Advisor Model which forecasts the savings from our technology as a replacement for the use of silicon cells. Incorporating our Joint Venture licensing model under which we plan to distribute CIGSolar™ technology, IBIS Associates determined that by the year 2015, this savings could total over $646 million.
Further, IBIS reported that "Xsunx's PV Cell technology in many ways can be thought of as a "drop-in" replacement for the current multi-crystalline silicon cell value stream, with the notable exception that it is much more capital efficient and cost effective. Moreover, XsunX's CIGS PV cells offer the potential to eventually "outstrip" the baseline mc-Si cell in terms of conversion efficiency."
For investor's perspective, can you give us a comparison of the two companies and how your company as a smaller company in the space can apply for and hope for DOE funding to help position you as a competitor in CIGS solar? And what is the process?

A: Tom Djokovich, CEO of XsunX, Inc. (OTCBB: XSNX)
Both Solyndra and XsunX are working with CIGS thin film, but that's about where the similarities end. Over the years there have been a number of companies that have endeavored to commercialize products based on CIGS thin films. The challenge has been to take processes that were developed in the laboratory and scale them to produce commercial quantities while not leaving the superior conversion capabilities of CIGS behind. Over the years these efforts have produced numerous different types of ideas that unfortunately have resulted in various marginal successes and numerous failures. To date virtually every effort has tried to scale the size of the production system to provide for mass quantity production. That is where XsunX and others have gone separate ways.
Our solution, CIGSolar™, takes an entirely new and different path and offers the potential to revolutionize the solar industry with the lowest cost highest yield manufacturing technology. The CIGSolar™ solution combines robust state-of-the-art magnetic media manufacturing technologies derived from the hard disc media industry with thin film solar manufacturing processes to increase production speeds, improve solar cell efficiency and production yields, and to lower the costs for the mass production of high performance thin film CIGS solar cells. The purpose is to keep the manufacturing area small, like it was in the laboratory when high efficiencies where achieved. This is critical to delivering a CIGS based product that can compete with silicon efficencies while also offering lower costs.
XsunX's goal is to deliver a replacement for silicon and not just another thin film choice. A multi-billion dollar market opportunity is waiting for the first company to achieve this and XsunX is working to be the first.The recent grant that XsunX applied for calls for applications from companies developing "High-Impact Supply Chain R&D for PV Technologies and Systems” that bring new technology together with existing industry to deliver renewable products and create jobs. We believe XsunX's research and development efforts closely fit the grant's overall scope that states as a goal to "identify and accelerate the development of cross-cutting and unique products or processes that are expected to have a disruptive impact on the photovoltaics (PV) industry.” We are hopeful that our application is selected, but our overall development plans did not include or rely on grant funding. We will find out in September if we were fortunate to be selected.

Q: Investorideas.com
What are the next steps investors can expect to watch in terms of developments with your CIGSolar™ Technology?

A: Tom Djokovich, CEO of XsunX, Inc. (OTCBB: XSNX)
Right now we are entering a very exciting phase of development. We recently completed the assembly of an important tool necessary for us to produce full size samples. Our goal between now and years end is to produce commercial size samples, complete engineering and design efforts, and market to a waiting group of interested solar product manufacturers looking to capitalize on our new CIGSolar™ technology.

About XsunX, Inc. - Solar Products for Life on Earth
XsunX, Inc. (OTCBB:XSNX) is working to provide a clean and capital efficient solution for the mass production of the highest efficiency, lowest cost CIGS thin-film solar cells using our new CIGSolar™ technology.
Website: http://www.xsunx.com/Twitter: http://twitter.com/XsunXINC

See the XsunX, Inc. Flash Video - The CIGSolar DifferenceView Video here

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