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Boston, MA, May 11, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BOSTON, MA – May 11 – The two leading thin-film solar manufacturers, First Solar and Solar Frontier, represent a combined manufacturing capacity of 4 GW. While they do not pose a short-term challenge to crystalline silicon players’ market dominance, ongoing innovations will ensure thin-film remains a significant player, according to Lux Research. Of the two, First Solar is far bigger, with expertise in utility-scale systems and a new large-format module design that will help maintain its gigawatt-scale presence in utility-scale systems, as deployment grows in emerging markets. Solar Frontier has gradually diversified its business away from its home market of Japan and is making steps towards a rooftop building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) product. “Both Solar Frontier and First Solar are moving forward to remain competitive with crystalline silicon. While First Solar will remain the thin-film leader, Solar Frontier has exhibited a willingness to form joint ventures to extend its scale,” said Tyler Ogden, Lux Research analyst and lead author of the report titled, “Tier-One Technology Tracker: Charting the Momentum of Thin-Film Leaders Solar Frontier and First Solar.” Lux Research analysts compared Solar Frontier and First Solar, evaluating the two companies’ varied approaches, strengths and weaknesses. Among their findings: The report, titled “Tier-One Technology Tracker: Charting the Momentum of Thin-Film Leaders Solar Frontier and First Solar,” is part of the Lux Research Solar Intelligence service. About Lux Research Lux Research provides strategic advice and ongoing intelligence for emerging technologies. Leaders in business, finance and government rely on us to help them make informed strategic decisions. Through our unique research approach focused on primary research and our extensive global network, we deliver insight, connections and competitive advantage to our clients. Visit http://www.luxresearchinc.com for more information. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/643de65c-c423-47aa-afd2-b0c8d68a7629 A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/b4b4b918-d184-4c4d-ac9a-3815cb70dd9f


Boston, MA, May 11, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BOSTON, MA – May 11 – The two leading thin-film solar manufacturers, First Solar and Solar Frontier, represent a combined manufacturing capacity of 4 GW. While they do not pose a short-term challenge to crystalline silicon players’ market dominance, ongoing innovations will ensure thin-film remains a significant player, according to Lux Research. Of the two, First Solar is far bigger, with expertise in utility-scale systems and a new large-format module design that will help maintain its gigawatt-scale presence in utility-scale systems, as deployment grows in emerging markets. Solar Frontier has gradually diversified its business away from its home market of Japan and is making steps towards a rooftop building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) product. “Both Solar Frontier and First Solar are moving forward to remain competitive with crystalline silicon. While First Solar will remain the thin-film leader, Solar Frontier has exhibited a willingness to form joint ventures to extend its scale,” said Tyler Ogden, Lux Research analyst and lead author of the report titled, “Tier-One Technology Tracker: Charting the Momentum of Thin-Film Leaders Solar Frontier and First Solar.” Lux Research analysts compared Solar Frontier and First Solar, evaluating the two companies’ varied approaches, strengths and weaknesses. Among their findings: The report, titled “Tier-One Technology Tracker: Charting the Momentum of Thin-Film Leaders Solar Frontier and First Solar,” is part of the Lux Research Solar Intelligence service. About Lux Research Lux Research provides strategic advice and ongoing intelligence for emerging technologies. Leaders in business, finance and government rely on us to help them make informed strategic decisions. Through our unique research approach focused on primary research and our extensive global network, we deliver insight, connections and competitive advantage to our clients. Visit http://www.luxresearchinc.com for more information. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/643de65c-c423-47aa-afd2-b0c8d68a7629 A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/b4b4b918-d184-4c4d-ac9a-3815cb70dd9f


Boston, MA, May 11, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BOSTON, MA – May 11 – The two leading thin-film solar manufacturers, First Solar and Solar Frontier, represent a combined manufacturing capacity of 4 GW. While they do not pose a short-term challenge to crystalline silicon players’ market dominance, ongoing innovations will ensure thin-film remains a significant player, according to Lux Research. Of the two, First Solar is far bigger, with expertise in utility-scale systems and a new large-format module design that will help maintain its gigawatt-scale presence in utility-scale systems, as deployment grows in emerging markets. Solar Frontier has gradually diversified its business away from its home market of Japan and is making steps towards a rooftop building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) product. “Both Solar Frontier and First Solar are moving forward to remain competitive with crystalline silicon. While First Solar will remain the thin-film leader, Solar Frontier has exhibited a willingness to form joint ventures to extend its scale,” said Tyler Ogden, Lux Research analyst and lead author of the report titled, “Tier-One Technology Tracker: Charting the Momentum of Thin-Film Leaders Solar Frontier and First Solar.” Lux Research analysts compared Solar Frontier and First Solar, evaluating the two companies’ varied approaches, strengths and weaknesses. Among their findings: The report, titled “Tier-One Technology Tracker: Charting the Momentum of Thin-Film Leaders Solar Frontier and First Solar,” is part of the Lux Research Solar Intelligence service. About Lux Research Lux Research provides strategic advice and ongoing intelligence for emerging technologies. Leaders in business, finance and government rely on us to help them make informed strategic decisions. Through our unique research approach focused on primary research and our extensive global network, we deliver insight, connections and competitive advantage to our clients. Visit http://www.luxresearchinc.com for more information. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/643de65c-c423-47aa-afd2-b0c8d68a7629 A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/b4b4b918-d184-4c4d-ac9a-3815cb70dd9f


News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

With wider geographical coverage and reliability, the NB-IoT will dominate LPWAN, the network that will connect billions of devices in the Internet of Things, Lux Research says


News Article | April 18, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

NEWTON, Mass., April 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Sensors Group, creators of the most highly regarded resources in the sensors market including the annual Sensors Expo & Conference and Sensors Magazine, today unveiled the lineup of speakers for the Medical Sensors Design Conference taking place this May 8-9 in Newton, Massachusetts. Featuring some of the industry’s most forward-thinking experts across research, technology, and medical practice, attendees will learn about the latest advancements in sensor technology and its applications including biometric design, clinical trials, wearables, and the impact on improving patient outcomes. Additional speakers include experts from Coto Technology, Lux Research, Microchip Technology, Northeastern University, Sophos, Texas Instruments, and more discussing additional topics such as wearables, data analytics, and security. View the full line up of speakers in the digital brochure. “Sensor technology in the medical field is no longer a futuristic dream, but rather a real-world reality impacting everything from patient care to clinical trials,” said Bunny Ellerin, Conference Chair of the event. “This Conference was developed to bring together the industry’s foremost experts who have leveraged innovative sensor applications, can share lessons learned, and provide attendees with the insight they need to leverage cutting-edge advancements in their own context.” In addition to inspiring keynotes, general sessions, and interactive panel discussions, attendees will also meet, learn, and gain inspiration by the top industry innovators at a focused exhibit area and invaluable networking receptions. Registration for the event is available at medicalsensorsconf.com/register. To learn more, check out our LinkedIn group, follow us on Twitter, and find us on Facebook. About Sensors Group The Sensors Group consists of the industry’s most highly regarded resources in the sensors industry and strives to create impact through leading in-person events and digital resources including Sensors Magazine, Sensors Expo & Conference, Sensors Midwest, and Medical Sensors Design Conference. Medical Sensors Design Conference is produced and managed by Questex LLC, a global, diversified business-to-business integrated media and information provider, headquartered in Newton, MA.


News Article | April 18, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

NEWTON, Mass., April 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Sensors Group, creators of the most highly regarded resources in the sensors market including the annual Sensors Expo & Conference and Sensors Magazine, today unveiled the lineup of speakers for the Medical Sensors Design Conference taking place this May 8-9 in Newton, Massachusetts. Featuring some of the industry’s most forward-thinking experts across research, technology, and medical practice, attendees will learn about the latest advancements in sensor technology and its applications including biometric design, clinical trials, wearables, and the impact on improving patient outcomes. Additional speakers include experts from Coto Technology, Lux Research, Microchip Technology, Northeastern University, Sophos, Texas Instruments, and more discussing additional topics such as wearables, data analytics, and security. View the full line up of speakers in the digital brochure. “Sensor technology in the medical field is no longer a futuristic dream, but rather a real-world reality impacting everything from patient care to clinical trials,” said Bunny Ellerin, Conference Chair of the event. “This Conference was developed to bring together the industry’s foremost experts who have leveraged innovative sensor applications, can share lessons learned, and provide attendees with the insight they need to leverage cutting-edge advancements in their own context.” In addition to inspiring keynotes, general sessions, and interactive panel discussions, attendees will also meet, learn, and gain inspiration by the top industry innovators at a focused exhibit area and invaluable networking receptions. Registration for the event is available at medicalsensorsconf.com/register. To learn more, check out our LinkedIn group, follow us on Twitter, and find us on Facebook. About Sensors Group The Sensors Group consists of the industry’s most highly regarded resources in the sensors industry and strives to create impact through leading in-person events and digital resources including Sensors Magazine, Sensors Expo & Conference, Sensors Midwest, and Medical Sensors Design Conference. Medical Sensors Design Conference is produced and managed by Questex LLC, a global, diversified business-to-business integrated media and information provider, headquartered in Newton, MA.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.npr.org

Pesticides based on fungi are just one example of biopesticides, a group that also includes bacteria and biochemicals derived from plants. Biopesticides are a tiny segment of the market for now – but their use is projected to grow at a faster rate than traditional synthetic pesticides over the next few years. The growth of the organic produce industry is one factor giving biopesticides a boost. So, too, are regulatory hurdles, says Sara Olson, a senior analyst at Lux Research. "As it gets harder to get approval for novel synthetics and existing synthetic pesticides are pulled from shelves, biopesticides become more attractive," Olson says. And then there's the rise of weeds and microbes resistant to traditional pesticides. "Many commonly used chemical pesticides are facing pressure today due to overuse, improper use, and long-term use," she says. Some biopesticides repel pests, while others disrupt mating or cause a specific disease to strike invaders that would nibble on delicate fruits and vegetables. Fungal-based biopesticides take things up a notch. Many of these products contain parasitic fungi – the kind that grow inside an insect's body and feed on its internal tissue until it dies (and sometimes beyond that). While this might sound horrific, for some the benefits of using fungal-based biopesticides, rather than traditional chemicals, may outweigh the brutality. Nemat Keyhani, a professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, says fungus is compatible with organic farming, harmless to vertebrates — like humans, birds, dogs and cattle — and has a low environmental impact. That's especially true when compared with synthetic pesticides, which often contain toxic chemicals such as arsenic, chlorine, ammonia and formaldehyde. Some synthetic pesticides have been shown to have harmful effects on the environment and human health. One family of pesticides, called neonicotinoids, is being blamed for the decline in bee populations over the last decade. Fungi, on the other hand, are alive, and they could evolve along with the insects that they're being used to control. That means pesticide resistance may become less of an issue, says Olson. "It's a complex interaction between the fungus and the pest you're trying to control, rather than a direct, single-chemistry interaction from the synthetics, so that's going to make them potentially more robust to a resistance developing," Olson explains. There are approximately 1,000 known species of entomopathogenic fungi – the kind that kill or seriously disable insects. Collectively they target most, if not all, agricultural pests, says Raymond St. Leger, an entomologist at the University of Maryland. When it comes to biopesticides, one of the most widely used fungi is Beauveria bassiana. It infects a range of insects and is commercially formulated as products including Naturalis L, Naturalis H&G, Mycotrol and BotaniGard. "In the 1800s, this was one of the very first fungi recognized as a disease agent that killed insects," says St. Leger. It causes a disease known as the white muscardine. Even after an insect is killed, the downy mold continues to produce millions of new infective spores that are released into the environment. Beauveria bassiana effectively targets the pecan weevil, Colorado potato beetle and kudzu bug, among other pests. Trichoderma, a versatile mold, is also commonly used. Some release enzymes that dissolve potential pathogens; others form barriers around plant roots and make it impossible for harmful bacteria and pathogens to pass through. Another fungus — Metarhizium, or the green muscardine fungus — is frequently used in the field, shielding crops from beetle grubs, wireworm, corn root worms and countless other insects. One variant is now being used to develop biopesticides — including a line by MycoPesticide — that can cause a mushroom to grow from a pest's dead body to distribute spores that warn other insects. But biopesticides can be quite expensive compared to synthetic pesticides. They often don't work as quickly and they have to be applied more frequently, making them a tough sell in some markets. Paul Underhill, co-owner of Terra Firma Farm, an organic grower in Winters, Calif., has tried a few. "Some, like those with fungi, can require special storage, such as refrigeration. [And] the cost to the farmer can easily be 20 times what a conventional pesticide might be," he says. One more downside: Biopesticides can be more sensitive to environmental conditions, including relative humidity and temperature and exposure to UV radiation. Genetic manipulation might be the next step to get more fungi-based products to the market. Scientists are working with transgenic strains to improve fungi's ability to kill insects, tolerate adverse conditions and, extending beyond crops, fight against the transmission of diseases such as West Nile virus, Lyme disease and malaria. St. Leger's team is currently testing a strain of Metarhizium that's had a spider gene inserted that selectively targets mosquitoes. Crystal Ponti is a science, technology and health reporter based in Augusta, Maine.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.scientificamerican.com

People cherish diamonds for their beauty and the sense of status and permanence they convey to the wearer, but someday soon these most precious of stones may serve an even more practical purpose than filling out engagement rings and anniversary pendants: protecting smartphone displays from the chips and spider web–like cracks that develop after countless drops and hours of tapping and swiping. Unlike the nuggets mined from deep in Earth’s crust, display-screen diamonds would be grown in the lab of AKHAN Semiconductor, a company developing ways to use synthetic diamonds to enhance electronics. By the end of the year AKHAN plans to begin making glass smartphone screens coated with a microns-thick layer of diamond, which the company says will be more scratch-resistant and less prone to shattering. The company will not say, however, which smartphone makers might use its Miraj Diamond Glass or how it would keep the cost of those screens affordable. Regardless of whether AKHAN delivers, the idea of using diamonds to solve the widespread problem of cracked smartphone screens bears scrutiny. A Motorola study from a couple of years ago noted nearly a third of U.S. smartphone users have handsets with cracked screens and that many continue to use those screens even after cutting a finger on them. Diamond is the hardest bulk material found in nature, and synthetic versions are likely to be more resistant to scratching than the Corning Gorilla Glass used to make most smartphone displays or even the sapphire crystal that Apple uses for its Apple Watch displays. Despite its scratch and heat resistance, however, diamond is actually a very brittle material. “If you put enough stress on it, it will break and cleave along the weakest planes,” says Jim Butler, a consultant in chemical vapor deposition who spent 38 years as a researcher at the Naval Research Laboratory. Nor would a diamond coating necessarily protect the underlying glass screen from a drop that creates a blunt force into the screen or along its edges. At that point you’re back to counting on the strength of the glass or whatever material is used to make the original display screen, says Anthony Schiavo, an analyst with technology research firm Lux Research who specializes in advanced materials. Although screens coated with synthetic diamonds are expected to be more shatterproof than existing smartphone screens, their actual strength depends entirely on the way they are made. The process—known as chemical vapor deposition—involves dusting a substrate, such as a piece of glass, with a layer of fine diamond particulates made up of hydrogen–carbon bonds. The diamond-coated glass is then put into a chamber with a combination of hydrogen and a carbon-rich gas such as methane. The next step is to blast the hydrocarbon gas mixture with heat or subject it to an electromagnetic field until it turns into a plasma of carbon atoms and positively charged hydrogen ions. Under these conditions the diamond particles’ carbon–hydrogen bonds begin to break. A continuous diamond film forms as the hydrogen atoms in the diamond particulates are replaced with carbon atoms from the plasma. Structural defects can be introduced during the process due to variations in temperature or the size of the original diamond particles that determine the physical properties of the end product. Making a more shatterproof diamond film would require tweaking these variables. As the diamond fragments come together, bonds between the carbon and hydrogen are being made or broken at a furious rate, which pumps energy into the diamond film and generates heat. “The optimal temperatures for growing diamond tend to be above 600 degrees centigrade [Celsius] and, depending on the situation, can be as high as 1,200,” Butler says. Diamond, which is extremely good at dissipating heat, stands up just fine in this extreme environment. Unfortunately, the underlying glass begins to melt at about 550 degrees Celsius. AKHAN founder Adam Khan claims his company can make a synthetic diamond film at temperatures of 350 degrees C or lower. Butler is skeptical, pointing out the glass and its diamond coating will have different reactions even at those temperatures. “If you’re going to put diamond on something and that something is going to go through temperature cycles, there’s going to be a stress between the coating and the substrate,” he says. Such stresses are enough to crack quartz, which is considerably harder than glass. That challenge can be solved, he adds, “but it’s not a trivial problem.” AKHAN’s ability to solve such problems will determine whether diamonds end up being a smartphone user’s best friend—or just another way for Apple, Samsung and other device makers to justify driving up the cost of their handsets.


News Article | April 24, 2017
Site: www.greencarcongress.com

« Oil sands production accounted for 28.8% of total Canadian gas demand in 2016 | Main | Sugar-derived levulinic esters and cyclic ether show superior anti-knock quality to Euro95 reference gasoline » Mitsubishi Rayon (MRC) (which is now consolidated into Mitsubishi Chemical, along with Mitsubishi Plastis and the former Mitsubishi Chemical) recently announced that its carbon fiber sheet molding compound (SMC) has been adopted for the rear hatch frame of the new Toyota Prius PHV. SMC is a form of thermoset chopped fiber composite; glass fiber reinforced SMC is already commonly in use in the automotive industry. SMC developed by MRC is a type of intermediate material for CFRPs and a sheet-shaped material in which carbon fibers cut into several-centimeter lengths are dispersed in resin. The SMC can be processed into components in a short period of time—roughly 2 to 5 minutes—by press molding. In contrast to prepreg intermediate materials (uncut carbon fiber fabric impregnated with resin), this SMC features high formability for molding complicated shaped parts. It also exhibits close-to-uniform mechanical properties. This allows engineers to readily use the carbon fiber material by utilizing existing parts design know-how and achieve lighter components with higher strength. Advantages of MRC’s SMC for the Prius PHV include a substantial reduction in the vehicle’s weight, the achievement of a great component performance, an excellent formability that enables production of complicatedly shaped components, and productivity necessary for manufacture of components for mass-produced vehicles. Lux Research called MRC’s contract win small, but important. Lux said that three key lessons can be gleaned from the announcement: Use case matters. The CF SMC is still substantially more expensive than aluminum or glass fiber SMC. On a pure fuel efficiency vs cost basis, its adoption not likely justified. However, the PHV model will benefit substantially more than the base model, due to the increase in full-electric range from lightweighting. SMC is much simpler to design with than continuous fiber composites. SMC has uniform properties—unlike continuous fiber composites—making it much more like metals for design engineers and much easier to adopt over all. Fast speed is not as necessary for initial adoption. The product takes two minutes to five minutes to mold. Most automakers have said that one-minute cycle times are necessary for mainstream adoption, but it’s clear from this announcement that niches exist where longer cycle times are acceptable, Lux observed. Bolstered by the Toyota win, MRC said it actively and extensively promote the use of its carbon fiber materials for automotive components. Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group’s APTSIS 20 Medium-Term Management Plan aims for achieving sales of ¥100 billion (US$900 million) from the carbon fiber and composite material business in 2020. Earlier this year, MRC acquired a US carbon fiber plant from SGL—SGL Carbon Fibers LLC, in Evanston, Wyoming—to expand its carbon fiber business in the North American market. MRC also acquired Seattle-based Gemini Composites LLC, a design, engineering and prototyping firm specialized in product development using forged composite technology.


Schmidtke J.,Lux Research Inc.
Optics Express | Year: 2010

We present a review of commercial thin-film photovoltaic (PV) technologies and products. After a brief introduction of recent dynamics in the on-grid PV market, we provide an overview of commercial thin-film silicon, cadmium telluride, copper indium gallium diselenide, and organic PV modules - including representative efficiencies, deposition processes, module form factors, and nominal production capacities available for production today. Finally, we discuss the technical, production, and market targets of thin-film PV module developers. © 2010 Optical Society of America.

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