A share purchase agreement has been executed by Natcore Technology with Vanguard Solar’s security holders. The Vanguard acquisition by Natcore is likely to occur soon, subject to the TSX Venture Exchange’s approval.
Vanguard has worked on developing a thin-film, flexible photovoltaic substance having efficiency performance akin to that of the silicon solar cell, at one-tenth the production cost and one-twentieth of the capital expenditure of a silicon solar cell. It has utilized proprietary chemical bath technique that is akin to the liquid phase deposition (LPD) technology of Natcore, though Vanguard was also able to grow the II-VI compound thin films semiconductor over carbon nanotubes at ambient pressure and room temperature, while so far Natcore has focused on the growth of silicon dioxide films over substrates of silicon.
The first generation products developed through Vanguard’s technique is likely to create efficiencies of 15-16% at 60¢ to 70¢ per watt module costs. The investment in manufacturing facilities has been projected to be a mere $10 million to $15 million for every 100-150 megawatt manufacturing capability, in comparison to existing expenses that are $250 million for standardized manufacturing facilities for solar cells.
The manufacturing equipment of Vanguard will be designed to facilitate its insertion into current roll-to-roll type of film coating lines that are similar to the ones used in earlier photography methods but now displaced by the emerging digital photography. All manufacturing materials are cheaper compared to silicon and various thin film systems and are also widely available. This process is likely to result in a cost effective manufacturing capability for large scale facilities, provided it is developed successfully.
Already a proof of concept for small area gadgets has been achieved by Vanguard and it is now preparing to venture into the validation phase during which it will show larger area working gadgets with the same targeted efficiencies as its first generation products. This company has two patents that are pending related to its solar cell development, besides a wide range of optical sensors and photodetectors. The optical sensors can be used in homeland security surveillance, monitoring and controls for production processes, with biomedical sensors for testing and diagnostics.
Along with the Vanguard acquisition, Natcore has tied up with a company that offers services for Vanguard for the payment of legal fees that are incurred by Vanguard by way of issuance of Natcore’s 120,075 common shares and has entered into an agreement with another firm that is helping Natcore with its acquisition of Vanguard via the issuance of 20,000 shares. These transactions are subject to the TSX Venture Exchange’s approval.