In early October 2017 we posted about Nanotech Engineering's novel graphene-enhanced solar panel, a post that raised many eyebrows. Nanotech says that their graphene panel reaches a 92% efficiency (compared to around 20% for large commercial silicon-based PV panels), and the cost per Watt of their panel will be 0.55 cents (compared to a US average of $3.26 for silicon PV panels).

Rice team studies thermal properties of graphene-CNTs junctions image

Graphene-CNT junctions (source: Rice University)

Our post quoted Nanotech's PR, stating that Jeffrey Grossman, Professor of Engineering at MIT verified the technology and said that “Pound for pound, the new solar cells produce up to 1,000 times more power than conventional photovoltaics”.



Our article received many responses - most of them declaring this news as a hoax: 92% is a theoretically impossible feat and that the MIT professor quoted in the company's PR says he has no connection to this tech. Considering Graphene-Info's place as an objective news hub, we cannot vouch for anything so we simply reached out to Nanotech to hear more about the business and technology and their reply to the issues above. Following is the information we got from the company - we posted it as is, without any commentary or opinion of our own,

So first of all, Nanotech's panels are reportedly built from ten layers of graphene and a carbon nanotube forest on top. The CNTs convert the photons to electrons while the graphene is the conducting layer. The company says that this structure enables the high conversion efficiency - while still being very cost effective.

Our readers pointed out the Schockley-Queisser limit - according to research the maximum theoretical limit of PV efficiency is 86.8%. Nanotech, however, says that this limit is only applicable to Silicon, but for Carbon Nanotubes and graphene it does not hold.

Regarding MIT, Nanotech admits that this was a mistake. The original post came from their advertising company which made a wrongful statement. Nanotech later removed that article and post. The quote from MIT was correct - but it had no relation to Nanotech's technology - it was about graphene solar potential in general.

Nanotech posted the technical specification of their panels - actually stating that the cell efficiency is 96.9% and the module efficiency is 94.7%. These results are from the company's own testing, and it has signed up for a third-party test by Intertek which will inspect the panels and provide its own results. The Intertek results are expected within a few months. Towards the end of 2017 Nanotech received its first panel samples, and posted the video you can see below.

Finally, the company updated us that they are currently in the process of finalizing a financing round, which they hope will bring in $30 million to enable them to commercialize the panels. Nanotech is also looking into other graphene applications, including composite materials.

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Comments

will this save the biosphere?

This technology breakthrough appears to be our only real chance and relies on a deep secret of physics that nevertheless is solid science. Ecological crisis is much worse than is reported in the media - with Dr. Natalia Shakhova exposing the ESAS methane "bomb" and the Global Dimming Effect - we need a massive energy conversion, very soon - within five years at the most. thanks.

Nano panels

Is this a hoax or not. The company has solicited an investment from me. If it is on the up and up I wouldn't mind investing...

nanotech

Ditto. Did you go thru the presentation? The biggest challenge I had was believing that such a radical leap. They even show someone comparing the volts and amps from their small panel outputting as much as an off-the-shelf panel that is 10 times bigger.

nanopanel

Nanopanel

I was also approached about an investment. I like the solar energy industry and I like nanotechnology. I'd like to know if the efficiency and costs are real. Their PPM is substandard, especially the financial projections. I want to know their plans and costs for production as well as costs to take the product to market. The PPM tends to assume they can capture as much market share as they want as fast as they want. However there are significant costs to ramp up and support all/some of the market. It's worth doing more research!

It looks a scam to me.

It looks a scam to me. National average for silicon panel is .6 cent not $3.25 per watt. Their production cost is .55 cent, so they can not sell at $2.5 per watt. Also, their technology has not established yet.

Investing in Nano Tech LPO

I spoke to Frank (frankl@nanoscienceinc.com) and he was able to get me more information on a live demonstration, I liked what I saw....

What?

Even a simple google search proves you wrong. Cost per W of solar is over $3. Price for non-solar is much less.

$3/w solar INSTALLATION

Not per panel. It’s for an entire installation. Panels cost usually $150-225 for 300 Watts. So $.50-.70 a panel.

Need more Information

In 2013 a company known as HHO HOME HEATING SYSTEMS BV (Netherlands) showed a Plasma Steam Heating unit that used only100mls of water and 1.4kw a hour and would save 75% on heating bills. They had published patents. Their website is now gone. Now we come to Nanotech Engineering Inc and their NANOPANEL. In their video on their website the bald man with pointy ears states that they are patent protected, which is not true, only patent pending, maybe. Also the third-party test by Intertek, which was to take place in early 2018 which never took place as far as my research has shown. There are to many Red Flags, really looks like a scam, unless more proof is shown by this new company. Think about it ! Christopher Styga, a NYC researcher of HHO and SOLAR Breakthroughs.

Doubt

What has the company to say about the reply of Christopher Styga? His reply is not offensive ... not at all ...

97 percent efficiency solar panels

Ive been researching rectenna type pv cells and even they have certain inherent problems that limit their efficiency to less than 50 percent.They have to demonstrate their panels. until they do they are frauds in my book.

Patent

I have seen their Patent Pending, my understanding was that Patent Pending are the precursor to full patents and not published. I'm not a patent expert though, but saw that it was filed.

Nanopanel TM

Dear John, Could you tell us where you saw information on Nanotech Engineering's Nanopanel™ patent pending.You can only use the patent pending notice after your patent application is complete. If you state, "patent pending" before you have applied for a patent, you are committing fraud on the Patent Office. This comes with fines of up to $500 per case. That fine can add up quickly when dealing with high-volume goods.

50 cents

You meant 0.6 dollars, not cents.

Intertek Review

Contacted Intertek today 1/24/2019. Asked if they were ever contacted by Nanotech Engineering to review their Nanopanel TM. They checked their data base, and found nothing. Unless someone else has some other information to the contrary, you can take this to the bank.

Retail versus wholesale

Retail versus wholesale Right now a standard 310W panel installed with everything runs about $3.30 to $4.25 W depending on the company installing it. The all in cost wholesale including inverter technology and racking is around $.99 to $120 Depending on the product. Their manufacturing cost could be easily offset by the concentration, you need a lot less of them for the same output of energy, since they take a lot less space. Could be a huge game changer.

Cost per watt

I just looked it up. The national average is 3.26 as stated.

Questions

Anyone invested and received monies yet?

Is the company real

if this technology is real I do have major contract for that they have to be able to produce

Deceptive efficiency data.

You may see demos on YouTube that show open circuit voltage measured by a voltmeter and short circuit current measured by an Amp meter leading you to believe that the product of those measurements is the power that the solar panel is capable of. IT IS NOT! If you connect solar cells in parallel, vs in series, you can get a lot of current. If they charge a capacitor that is then sent to a DC-DC converter, you can generate a lot of open circuit voltage, even hundreds of volts, but it will not be sustained with a resistor load of, say, a 10 ohms. The voltage across that 10 ohm resistor squared divided by 10 ohms is the actual power that panel can produce. Don't be duped. Open circuit voltage times short circuit current is NOT a measure of the power that a solar panel can produce. Saying that it is the power produced is tantamount to fraud!

Nanotech Engineering

Spoke with them. I'm an Engineer. Their claims will never be substantiated. Don't invest your money. It's a scam. They are claiming their panel produces more energy than can be received from the sun in the area of their panels. And they use a trick measuring open circuit voltage and short circuit current, then claiming that the product of the two is power. It is not. Only way to measure power produced is measuring the voltage across a known load resistor where power = voltage squared divided by the resistance. They do not do that and they will not allow an independent lab to verify their claims.

Graphene Patent Pending

FreeVolt currently has a European Patent and a World Patent for Graphene in solar panels. The US patent is pending. While the modules will not reach the numbers in this company's claims, the Graphene, which is incorporated with traditional monocrystalline silicon, is expected to increase efficiency to around 30%.

FreeVolt Solar Graphene Patent

Here is the link to the US patent application. We expect to have this finalized within the next few months.

https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/originalDocument?FT=D&date=20181213&DB=EPODOC&locale=en_EP&CC=US&NR=2018358498A1&KC=A1&ND=4

Company's Response

Using the term "Scam" is serious Slander. Courts are upholding online fraud and slander and we will pursue this with great vigor. Our comparison video is just that a comparison of our Nanopanel™ against a current Silicon Panel on the market today. No panels were connected in series or in parallel.

As far as third-party testing, our IP Chief, who’s a former FBI Counterintelligence officer advised us to send our panel to NO ONE, including 3rd party testers, however we will right before we go to market. There was a recent example of this when a Shell Oil sent their product for testing, and a Intertek Employee took part in a $150 Billion theft. We have what we consider the greatest invention of the last decade, a new way to generate energy, and WE ARE PROTECTING OUR INVESTORS AS WELL AS OURSELVES.

Think how many scientists, engineers and those in Solar have not only invested with us but have examined the demonstration and have come to a positive conclusion on the test. You simply cannot believe everything you read, every company gets complaints, we're frankly amazed we only have a couple of cynics. What they don’t understand is that with Graphene, and look this up for yourself, produces 3 ELECTRONS FROM ONE PHOTON, THEREBY AMPLIFYING THE POWER BY A FACTOR OF THREE, AND YES GENERATING MORE ENERGY THAN RECEIVED!!! This is a fact that you can find anywhere online, do your own research.

Below are just two links that shows how scientists are still just discovering the benefits of graphene, a whole new material. We always encourage all investors to do their own research.

https://cleantechnica.com/2013/02/25/graphene-breakthrough-one-photon-can-be-converted-into-multiple-electrons/

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07848-2

This violates the laws of thermodynamics

Forget what material is used, the maximum power conversion efficiency of any solar cell (or any other photoconverter) is c.a. 85%.

A claim of power conversion efficiency higher than this violates fundamental laws of thermodynamics (i.e. higher efficiency than a Carnot engine).

See Jenny Nelson, The Physics of Solar Cells, Chapter 10.2 for a full derivation.

Company's Response

We already answered this, Graphene amplifies each photon by 3 thereby passing the theoretical limit; Shockley, W. The theory of p-n junctions in semiconductors and p-n junction transistors. ATT Tech. J. 28, 435-489 (1949). See the links in previous comments also in this comment for articles FOR OBJECTIVE FACTS. If people don’t want to believe facts, we can’t help them. Our engineers have known for years, scientific facts about these nano-structured materials, Facts that are just now being verified by the rest of scientific community.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1303-3#Bib1

Jenny Nelson, The Physics of Solar Cells

The Physics of Solar Cells was published in the year 2003, before many of the scientific break-troughs took place and since then many discoveries have been made in nano-structured materials. For an example of a break-trough unknown to physicists back in 2003, see the link below. Now almost 17 years later, it is good information, but it is just a bit out dated....

https://www.iflscience.com/technology/tweaked-graphene-could-double-electricity-generated-solar/

Another year has past, and these people are *STILL* clueless.

I was approached for investment and I *was* intrigued. However, within five minutes of examining their claims, I knew it was nothing but smoke & mirrors.

So what did I do, I did what any self-serving ambitious engineer would do. I contacted them and offered my professional services to get their project back on track and bring it into reality. I actually spent an hour discussing their shortcomings and proposing an equity stake in exchange for services.

During that hour I dove to the depth of their ignorance, and when the offer I made was rejected, that cemented my conclusion that these people are fraudsters, and at best were attempting an asset scam, Now a year later they're bragging about their $100m [sic] worth of OEM equipment they bought for $400k -- If that's not the red flag of an asset scam I don't know what is!

So, if you're thinking about investing, be darn certain that you are doing it for the tax deduction.

That said, if you are looking for tax deductions, I've got a number of notable projects I've consulted on or have originated that will at least do something you can brag about at cocktail parties. e.g.

) Want to clean the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? $475,000 buys a 'Whale' -- it's an ocean going self-propelled swimming trommel which 'eats' the hundreds of thousands of tons of floating microplastics, flotsam & jetsam which are choking sea birds, turtles, and other marine life.

) Prefer your waste to energy be converted on dry land? Two ways to make a difference.
a) Bio-Char is made from the partially combusted remains of all natural organic wasted. This form of carbon enriches the soil, and keeps the bulk of it's organic carbon sequestered in plain sight -- rich black soils!
b) Pyrolytic Compounds are produced when *any* organic material, from used oak leaves to non-biodegradable engineering plastics, food waste, construction debris, even sewage sludge is processed at sufficiently high temperatures. Valuable byproducts not sent to landfills reduce future environmental impact. Less valuable residues, e.g various metallic ashes of Ca, Al, Mg, Fe, Si, etc can be reused as feedstocks for cement or refractory products.

) If you just want to make a difference (politically), you could donate to Libertarian Party Presidential Campaign fund.

Ciao,

Company's Response

We should really not respond to this one, for this fellow “Talked to us for 5 minutes and determined we were a “Scam”, yet he wanted to work with us? And is using this platform to pitch some other offering? We have PROOF of the equipment we bought; the company had paid $100m and if you can take more than 5 minutes, go visit our facility and see for yourself.

If you haven’t heard let us re-explain, since some will criticize what they are naïve of; In the Obama years he handed out billions to Solar, ie Solydra, etc. The Obama administration gave Solexel $250m grant, they put $15m in their pocket, spent $100m on equipment and had no clue what to do. They rebranded their company to Beam Reach Solar, they never got up and filed for bankruptcy, so we bought their equipment that they paid $100m for, street value realistically around $22m, nonetheless this is such great news and smart money management on our part that people like this guy don’t believe it. Their equipment was just sitting there, they were paying $1000-day storage, we bought it for $300k plus $100k shipping, any doubts go visit our facility and see for yourself! Or look them up online.

This looks like an ad for some investments this fellow has, we shouldn’t have wasted a response. I would be very cautious considering an investment being pitched on a negative post! Also, if someone can understand in “5 Minutes”, probably not a good idea to pay attention to them. As we stated we take all slander serious and will pursue anyone slandering us.

When are you going commercial?

I don't care. I just wanna know when are you going commercial...how longer?

Nanotech has a competitor! Novasolix ...

One might think that having competition in the nano-scopic market of solar power rectenna's makes both of these companies legit. Sadly, both fail to provide the key numbers needed to determine the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). A good comparison is the bevy of perovskite solar research companies all eager for grant money. For many years, they're claim of incredibly low solar power production cost has raked in large sums of $$$ yet failed on the rocky shoals of one key TCO variable, lifespan. You have rapid degradation caused by heat, moisture, and oxygen seeping in.

With graphene you have many of the same lifespan issues that perovskite plus the significant problem of manufacturing it without defects and contaminants such as epoxides, hydroxys, and COOH groups. So even if they manage to extend the lifespan of graphene on someone's hot Los Angeles roof, there's the high manufacturing cost to contend with.

It's when a solar technology gets put into the field such as a commercial solar installation or on a roof that things get really interesting, financially. This is where lifespan becomes critical to lower TCO. On a roof, efficiency is not the issue once you're above 20% because the typical roof, even in the cloudy Pacific Northwest, will generate the needed power to heat and cool my home plus recharge my EV car. Higher efficiency doesn't help me unless either the initial cost is lower or the cost of installation is lower. Sadly, the labor in the install of the panels on the roof is just a small part of the labor needed to complete the job, so an increase in efficiency doesn't help. However, if the lifespan is extended from 15 years for the current low-end PV panels to over 25 years from the likes of Sunpower or Panasonic, there's an appreciable reduction in TCO.

Lifespan can be quickly determined in the lab through Accelerated Life Testing. There are numerous reputable third party companies that perform this testing. Even prototypes can be tested. The fact that neither Nanotech or Novasolix hasn't provided any details on the tested lifespan of their products is yet another red flag.

Patent

what is the status of your US patent?

when are you bringing product to market?