New Energy Announces Commercial and Military Aircraft Applications for Its See-Through Coatings Able to Generate Electricity

Posted on September 9, 2013 @ 09:28 am

New Energy Technologies, Inc. announced that the company has expanded the use of its SolarWindow coatings to include two new product lines. These products are the result of several new inventions — the subject of seven new patent filings — for commercial and military aircraft, and the safety and security of military pilots.

“These product developments allow us strategic entry into flight function and safety, and aircraft power while maintaining focus on the ongoing development of SolarWindow,” said John Conklin, president and CEO of New Energy Technologies, Inc. “These are the kinds of products which position the Company as a world-class innovator, using our see-through electricity-generating coatings in high-value applications.”

Aircraft and pilots represent prized, capital intensive resources in both military and commercial sectors. In the United States, nearly $400 billion is slated for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program alone, with approximately $1 trillion in projected maintenance costs for the jets. According to a recent report in the Los Angeles Times, the US Air Force estimates that it costs taxpayers about $6 million to train each fighter pilot. Today’s popular commercial aircraft such as DC-9 and 747 models can cost anywhere from $40 – $360 million; a single United Airlines order accounted for nearly $15 billion in 2012.

Aircraft windows and fuselage surfaces, and related components; and pilot flight suits, helmets, and visors are among target surfaces included in New Energy’s latest inventions to make use of the Company’s electricity-generating SolarWindow coatings. The production of electricity on such surfaces and materials is possible when researchers lightly tint their surfaces with New Energy’s flexible organic, electricity-generating coatings. The result is aesthetically pleasing see-through surfaces, which can have uniquely tailored properties, that generate electricity.

“Unlike traditional PV, New Energy’s SolarWindow coatings produce electricity from both natural sunlight and artificial light sources, and the system continues to produce power in low-light or shaded conditions,” explained Dr. Scott Hammond, principal scientist of New Energy Technologies, Inc. “Given unknown and uncertain conditions a downed pilot or compromised aircraft could encounter, the company’s SolarWindow technology is an attractive potential source of emergency electricity that could aid in pilot or passenger survival and recovery.”

Researchers envision applying SolarWindow coatings to pilot safety equipment, thus providing much-needed ultra-lightweight emergency power to downed pilots. Researchers further anticipate that supplementary power production from SolarWindow coatings could reduce the size and weight of ancillary power systems aboard today’s aircraft, potentially improving fuel consumption while increasing usable aircraft space.

Conventional solar-photovoltaic (PV) technologies are generally heavy, thick, opaque, and rigid. New Energy’s electricity-generating coatings are ultra-thin (less than the thickness of the human hair) and inherently lightweight and flexible, which potentially allows unique applications for moving and non-planar surfaces such as aircraft components, flight suits, and helmets and visors – the subjects of various new inventions and seven new patent filings announced.


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