March 04, 2010

The Better Solar Mousetrap

By: by


It can be argued as to whether interest sparks ingenuity, or conversely if ingenuity drives interest. Regardless, the better mousetrap idea generally earns and deserves attention.

A release just moments ago by Magnolia Solar Corporation should affirm the emerging solar equity's position as a unique innovator, a firm with the ability to turn not just the heads of those interested in all things in the solar arena, but also to turn the egg-heads of academia who generally know the difference between game-changer technology and fertilizer.

It is with this in mind that Magnolia's announcement this morning that it received a $1 million award from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to develop advanced thin-film solar cells in partnership with the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering ("CNSE") of the University at Albany is a big, big deal.

More than simply a million dollars, this is an important alliance with credible academia, with a prestigious university with a reputation it greatly values. This isn't two microcaps cutting deals with each other to look good. This is a top young solar company being embraced by world-class intellectuals at CNSE's Albany NanoTech Complex.

More importantly, the best may as yet be to come. What will be the product of this synergy? Already, Magnolia's technology to capture a broader spectrum of the sun's energy and to reduce energy losses due to reflection is intriguing. Now, a technology that uses non-toxic materials on low-cost substrates to produce high-efficiency, low-cost solar cells could be enhanced by the university's nanotech acumen.

Perhaps then Magnolia will have further improved what was already a better solar mousetrap.

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