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San Marcos, TX, United States, 2013/07/10 - MicroPower Global has signed a new agreement with Texas State University giving the company access to a key early manufacturing tool that will enable it to begin producing its energy-saving semiconductor chips once the system is installed and staffed.
MicroPower Global today announced a new agreement with Texas State University granting the company exclusive use of a Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) system. In due course, this will enable the company to commence production of its advanced semiconductor chips which convert heat directly to electricity three times more efficiently than ever before.
The MBE tool, a V100 system which has two operating chambers, will continue to be owned by the University with MicroPower paying a monthly fee once operational. Total production capacity using both chambers would be approximately 1.3 million cm² worth of MicroPower Chips annually, double the initial capacity that the company had projected.
With assistance from University professors Dr Tom Myers and Dr Ravi Droopad, it is expected that the MBE tool will be moved by the end of the summer, from its present location on campus to the company’s premises at Texas State’s new Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Park.
In addition, MicroPower has also agreed terms with the University for the operation of a new research chamber which is due to be installed this month on the development MBE system in the Roy F. Mitte science building on campus, which is currently used for the growth of ”barriers” on MicroPower Chips. This will significantly accelerate development capabilities.
“These agreements provide us with a great opportunity to accelerate our development, and in the near future to move seamlessly into production with much less capital expenditure than is typically associated with the transition to manufacturing,” commented Max Lewinsohn, MicroPower’s Chairman.
“There is significant demand for our energy conversion technology,” he added. “Our key challenge at this stage is to secure the necessary funding to enable us to ramp up our operations and be able to cater for the high level of interest we are experiencing.”
“We are pleased to continue our relationship with MicroPower as the company enters an exciting new phase,” added Dr Bill Covington, Chief Research Officer for Texas State University. “The level of commercial experience on offer to students is important to us, and several of our graduates have already become full-time MicroPower employees as the company grows we very much hope this trend continues.”
As well as pursuing traditional forms of financing, MicroPower is also planning a Crowdfunding campaign, to give members of the public, who are interested in energy savings and reducing emissions, the opportunity to support the venture. The company plans to launch this campaign on Kickstarter on July 15th.
MicroPower Global (micropower-global.com) is a private company which is developing the next generation of thermoelectric devices for use in the areas of energy conservation, energy harvesting and refrigeration. The new MicroPower semiconductors (“chips”) can efficiently and cost-effectively convert heat, including waste heat, directly into electricity, leading to significant energy savings in a number of industrial and consumer applications.
A MicroPower chip builds on standard thermoelectric principles in a novel way to deliver breakthrough levels of efficiency. The original discovery was made in 2000 and good progress on developing the technology was made over a number of years before MicroPower acquired the IP in 2008 and the prospect of commercial products became a reality, with recent work enabling significantly greater efficiency, a broader temperature range and a low cost manufacturing process.
The ability to harvest heat at temperatures ranging from 200°C to 600°C will make MicroPower chips the new thermoelectric standard for waste heat recovery. The current thermoelectric market is relatively small at approximately $300 million annually but MicroPower will be able to open up already identified new global markets worth many billions annually. Its cutting-edge technology has been patented internationally and independently verified.
MicroPower first formed a working partnership with Texas State University in 2009 to develop prototype chips at the university’s Multifunctional Materials Laboratory building in San Marcos.