Wakonda Technologies wins at the 20th NREL Industry Growth Forum

Bandgap Engineering and AlbEO Technologies Inc. honored with Outstanding Presentation Awards.


Source: NREL

At the 20th NREL Industry Growth Forum on Nov. 8, 2007, (left to right) Riley Hill of Xcel Energy; Marcie Black of Bandgap Engineering, Outstanding Presentation Award Winner; Les Fritzemeier of Wakonda Technologies, Clean Energy Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner; J. Bisberg of AlbEO Technologies, Outstanding Presentation Award Winner; and L. Marty Murphy of NREL stand together after the awards ceremony.

Per Wakonda Technologies, Inc. (http://www.wakondatech.com/):

Wakonda Technologies is commercializing a Virtual Single Crystal (VSC) photovoltaic technology that can be aesthetically integrated into buildings, infrastructure and personal power applications. The technology promises to bring lower costs because of its higher efficiency, lighter weight and flexibility. Photovoltaics, or PV, convert sunlight directly into electricity.

What is this technology? Wakonda is developing high efficiency thin film solar cells using III-V semiconductors on flexible metal foils about 2 mils (0.0508 millimeters) thick. This technology is related to III-V Triple Junction Terrestrial Solar Cells built on Germanium (Ge) substrates. Wakonda has developed a method to produce a Ge film on a flexible metal substrate to replace the expensive Ge crystal wafer substrate.

Perhaps it is better to allow Wakonda Founder and CEO Les Fritzemeier explain the company’s technology and business plans in this top Ten Finalist video by Newfangler Productions from the ICE 2007 Ignite Clean Energy Business Presentation Competition on May 1, 2007.

Here is the official press release, Wakonda Technologies is the Clean Energy Entrepreneur of the Year, from the 20th NREL Industry Growth Forum of the U.S. Department of Energy‘s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Wakonda Technologies is located in Fairport, New York USA, near Rochester and earned a top prize of $10,000 as the 2007 Clean Energy Entrepreneur of the Year.

On the same day, November 8, 2007, Wakonda Technologies was awarded $892,735 as part of the Department of Energy to Invest More than $21 Million for Next Generation Solar Energy Projects for a $2.1 million project to apply low cost conventional thin film manufacturing techniques to the production of large area, high efficiency multi-junction PV.

Here is an oral presentation and paper Wakonda contributed to at the 22nd EU PVSEC:

13:30 – 15:00 Solar Cells, Modules and PV Systems for Space
1BO.4.3 R.P. Raffaelle, S. Hubbard & J. McCarty
Rochester Institute of Technology, USA
L. Fritzemeier
Wakonda Technologies, Fairport, USA
D.M. Wilt & S.G. Bailey
NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, USA
Thin Film Poly III-V Space Solar Cells

Wakonda visited Denver earlier this year from April 17-19, 2007, for the DOE Solar Energy Technologies Program Review Meeting and Peer Review to present the paper, Progress Toward High Efficiency Thin Film Photovoltaics, updating their DOE funded research. NASA has also been an active funder of Wakonda’s research for space applications.

In addition, I found the following Wakonda patent published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO):


Outstanding Presentation Awards winners Bandgap Engineering and AlbEO Technologies Inc. each received $5,000 in cash.

Marcie R. Black, Bandgap Engineering’s founding scientist, accepted the Outstanding Presentation Award on behalf her Westwood, Massachusetts USA, company developing solar cells with high efficiencies above 50 percent based on nano-scaled silicon material per the 2006 MRS (Materials Research Society) Fall Meeting Symposium CC: Solar Energy Conversion paper:

Intentional Interface Defects as a Means of Band Gap Engineering and the Applications to Photovoltaics Marcie R Black1 and James Maxwell2; 1LANL, Newton, Massachusetts; 2Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Here is an advanced look at the topic of Band Gap Engineering or see this Band gap introduction.

Based in Boulder, Colorado USA, AlbEO Technologies, Inc. develops and markets intelligent Solid State Lighting (SSL) systems combining art, design, and technology while reducing energy consumption. Jeff Bisberg, AlbEO founder and CEO, accepted the Outstanding Presentation Award for his company.

The 20th NREL Industry Growth Forum was held this year in Denver, Colorado USA, from November 6-8, 2007. Additional solar firms among this year’s thirty one (31) presenters included:

CaliSolar, Inc.
GreenVolts, Inc.
Gamma Solar Corp.
Prism Solar Technologies, Inc.
Ribbon Technology International (reference)
Soliant Energy, Inc.
SoloPower, Inc.
SunFund Corporation
SV Solar, Inc.

Both Denver’s Mayor John Hickenlooper and Colorado Governor Bill Ritter addressed the 20th NREL Industry Growth Forum. Neither Philadelphia Major John F. Street or Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell took the time to address last year’s 19th NREL Industry Growth Forum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA.

Here are the Proceedings from last year’s 19th NREL Industry Growth Forum or see my previous coverage of the 19th NREL Industry Growth Forum and follow up posts.

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