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ASCENT SOLAR: Lightweight portable, solar-powered products for every home

Jun 07, 2016
Credit : GMI Post

About six months after the devastating earthquake that struck Eastern Japan and caused the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his plans to diversify his country’s sources of energy and reduce its dependence on nuclear power.

Ascent's solar technology is both the world's most lightweight, and customizable as seen in the application of the company's solar to the Silent Falcon UAV

Since that announcement, Japan has steadily increased power generation from renewable sources such as wind and solar energy. Last year, the country generated 12 gigawatts from renewable sources, compared to 7.3 gigawatts in 2013.

While traditional photovoltaic (PV) panels, seen mostly in large solar farms and on rooftops, remain the standard PV solution, technological advances in the field have already yielded lighter, stronger, more flexible and affordable products, among them the thin-film solar modules made from copper, indium, gallium and selenium, widely known as CIGS technology. 

Ascent Solar Technologies Inc., based in Thornton, Colorado, is the “One and Only” CIGS producer globally which manufactures on a flexible plastic substrate using its award-winning, patented “monolithic integration” technology.

Given the extremely lightweight and flexible nature of the plastic substrate, Ascent has enabled a previously unimaginable potential for wide varieties of application currently not available to traditional glass-backed solar. Besides being lightweight and flexible, the most important aspect is the extreme durability of the panels as compared to glass-backed panels. 

Ascent’s panels are literally “bullet-proof” as they continue to produce power even when punctured. In fact, Ascent’s panels have passed the U.S. military MIL-STD 810G testing and selected modules have also obtained the IEC61646 Certification from the International Electrotechnical Commission.

Recently, Ascent set up a consumer products division, EnerPlex, to focus on providing every individual with complete mobile, outdoor and emergency power solutions.

EnerPlex products range from portable solar chargers, solar-integrated backpacks and energy storage devices such as power banks and generators that were primarily designed for off-grid situations, especially in disaster areas where the sun could be the only source of power.

“Ascent’s PV panels can operate in low-light, overcast or even indirect sunlight conditions, which exemplifies the unique advantages of CIGS technology.

To put it simply, our panels can operate in a wide variety of conditions from sunrise to sunset. Ascent and EnerPlex technology is not just about rated-power, it’s about providing much-needed power when others cannot,” said CEO Victor Lee.

“With Ascent’s unique manufacturing process, we can also customize our panels to the specific needs of end-users in terms of voltage and current requirements as well as the form factor. Hence, you can say that we are the ultimate tailor shop in manufacturing bespoke solar products,” Lee added.

DEN: The airport of the future has arrived

Jun 07, 2016
Credit : GMI Post

Denver International Airport (DEN) recently celebrated its 20th anniversary by opening a new 519-room Westin Hotel adjacent to the iconic Jeppesen Terminal and its white, tented roof.

The new Westin Hotel is linked to DEN via train. Credit: Denver International Airport

The opening was followed by the inauguration in April this year of a train that transports commuters between the airport and downtown Denver in just 37 minutes.

“The opening of our luxury hotel that sits just 200 feet from the Jeppesen Terminal, combined with the commuter rail, helps ensure DEN’s place among the world’s finest airports,” said airport CEO Kim Day.

In addition to luxury amenities and upgraded shopping and dining options, DEN is centrally located in the U.S., making it easy for passengers to fly to the East and West coasts and beyond.

DEN is also known for having one of the most efficient customs processes in the country, making it easier for passengers on flights from 20 international cities in eight countries, including a nonstop flight to Tokyo.

The 17th-busiest airport in the world and the fifth-busiest in the U.S., DEN is a vital engine of economic growth for the state of Colorado, as it generates more than $26 billion for the region annually.

Southwest USA 2016 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

PDF of the printed report

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