Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.


Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.

Energy Conversion Devices (NASDAQ: ENER) is headquarted in Rochester Hills, Michigan.

United Solar Ovonic, LLC is its wholly owned subsidiary located in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Ovonics (coined from "Ovshinsky" and "electronics") is a field of electronics that uses materials able to change from an electrically nonconducting state to a semiconducting state shown by glass of special composition upon application of a certain minimum voltage. The most important example is phase change memory.

Scientist-entrepreneur Stanford Ovshinsky pioneered the field and coined the term after he founded Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD) in 1960 to further his research in amorphous semiconductors. ECD Ovonics works to create non-polluting, non-climate-changing energy sources.

*Founded as Ovonics Battery Company in 1982.
*Invented and patented the NiMH battery.
*Current projects include NiMH, solid-state Hydrogen Fuel Storage, regenerative fuel cells, and solar (UNI-SOLAR Shingles).
*Founder Stanford R. Ovshinsky was honored as "Hero for the planet" by Time Magazine in 1999, and inducted into the US based Solar Energy Hall of Fame in 2005. [http://www.ovonic.com/oc_ovshinsky_solar_hall_fame.cfm]
*ECD Ovonics stock is listed on the Nasdaq with symbol ENER and on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

Company Structure

ECD Ovonics is divided into three parts, and has full or partial ownership of several other companies [ [http://www.ovonic.com/oc_core_all_chart.cfm Energy Conversion Devices (ECD Ovonics) Core Businesses & Strategic Alliances. ECD Ovonics is a leader in the fields of alternative energy generation and storage, and advanced information technologies ] ]
* Energy Generation
** United Solar Ovonic Corp (100% owned): flexible photovoltaic laminates
** Ovonic Fuel Cell Company LLC (100% owned)
* Energy Storage
** Ovonic Hydrogen Systems LLC (100% owned)
** Ovonic Battery Co (91.4% owned by ECD, 8.6% Honda, Sanyo and Sanoh)
***Rare Earth Ovonic Inner Mongolia (19% owned by Ovonic Battery, 50% by Chevron)
***Cobasys (50% owned by Ovonic Battery)
* Information Technology
** Ovonic Media (100% owned)
**Ovonyx Inc. (39.5% owned by ECD)
***Ovonic Cognitive Computer (95% owned by ECD, 5% by Ovonyx)

United Solar Ovonic Corp

is the world's largest (2008) manufacturer of conformable photovoltaic laminates, sold under the trademark 'Unisolar'. Manufacturing and global headquarters is in Auburn Hills, MI. The cells are based on a unique triple junction, and produce an efficiency of between 6 and 7 % [http://www.uni-solar.com/uploadedFiles/0.4.1_pvl_136_tech_data_sheet.pdf Unisolar 136 datasheet] .

Much of the production is sold to manufacturers and supplies of building envelope elements such as metal roofs (Rheinzink, Corus 'Kalzip' or polymer roof membranes (Alwitra, Solar Integrated technologies) [http://www.uni-solar.com/interior.asp?id=94 Unisolar list of strategic partners] .

Ovonic Batteries

Ovonic NiMH batteries were used in the 1998 Chevy S10 EV and the 1999 GM EV1 as well as many Hybrid Cars in production today.

Patent encumberance

In 1994, General Motors acquired a controlling interest in Ovonics's battery development and manufacturing, including patents controlling the manufacturing of large nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. On October 10, 2001, Texaco purchased GM's share in GM Ovonics, and Chevron completed its acquisition of Texaco six days later. In 2003, Texaco Ovonics Battery Systems was restructured into Cobasys, a 50/50 joint venture between Chevron and Energy Conversion Devices (ECD) Ovonics. [Roberson, J. (March 14, 2007) [http://oesa.org/publications/articledetail.php?articleId=6528 "Supplier Cobasys exploring more hybrid batteries"] "Detroit Free Press"]

In her book, [http://www.newsociety.com/bookid/3934 "Plug-in Hybrids: The Cars that Will Recharge America"] , published in February 2007, Sherry Boschert argues that large-format NiMH batteries are commercially viable but that Cobasys refuses to sell or license them to small companies or individuals. Boschert reveals that Cobasys accepts only very large orders for these batteries. When Boschert conducted her research, major auto makers showed little interest in NiMH batteries. Since no other companies were capable of producing large orders, Cobasys was not manufacturing any NiMH batteries for automotive purposes. [Boschert, S. (2007) [http://www.newsociety.com/bookid/3934 "Plug-in Hybrids: The Cars that Will Recharge America"] (Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers) ISBN 9780865715714]

However, in December 2006, Cobasys and General Motors announced that they had signed a contract under which Cobasys provides NiMH batteries for the Saturn Aura hybrid sedan. [Abuelsamid, S. (December 6,2006) [http://www.autobloggreen.com/2006/12/05/cobasys-providing-nimh-batteries-for-saturn-aura-hybrid/ "Cobasys providing NiMH batteries for Saturn Aura hybrid"] "Autobloggreen.com"] In March 2007, GM announced that it would use Cobasys NiMH batteries in the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu hybrid as well. Cobasys remains unwilling to produce and sell NiMH batteries in smaller quantities to individuals interested in building or retrofitting their own PHEVs.

ee also

*Laminate
*Toyota RAV4 EV

Notes

External links

* [http://www.ovonic.com/ Ovonics: Energy Conversion Devices]

* [http://www.pbs.org/saf/1506/features/ovshinsky.htm Scientific American Frontiers on PBS.org: Meet the Ovshinskys]

* [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1852873 NPR: Entrepreneur Retools Combustion Engine]

* [http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/ovshinsky.html Lemelson-MIT Inventor of the Week: Amorphous Semiconductor Materials]

* [http://www.time.com/time/reports/environment/heroes/heroesgallery/0,2967,ovshinsky,00.html TIME Magazine: Heroes for the Planet]

* [http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6969567.PN.&OS=PN/6969567&RS=PN/6969567 US Patent No. 6,969,567 - Multi-cell battery]


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