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Ascent Solar Technologies Inc (OTCMKTS:ASTI) Working To Make Solar Infrastructure Beautiful

Ascent Solar Technologies Inc (OTCMKTS:ASTI) Working To Make Solar Infrastructure Beautiful
Written by
Alex Carlson
Published on
September 7, 2016
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Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (OTCQB : ASTI ) is a developer of thin-film photovoltaic modules using flexible plastic substrate materials that are more versatile and rugged than traditional solar panels. Ascent Solar modules, which were named one of TIME Magazine's 50 best inventions for 2011, can be directly integrated into consumer products and off-grid applications, commercial transportation, automotive solutions, space applications, consumer electronics for portable power and durable off-grid solutions.Ascent’s strategy is exactly in line with Elon Musk’s. He wants to make solar infrastructure beautiful. Or, as he puts it, he wants to build “a smoothly integrated and beautiful solar-roof-with-battery product that just works.” That’s according to his recently updated Master Plan, which he published on the Tesla Motors blog the week of July 17, 2016. And it’s a very good idea.No one truly knows what Musk means when he describes a “solar-roof-with-battery product”, but his choice of words can be sometime be very insightful. They imply something about existing consumer solar panels—more specifically, that they are currently less than beautiful.He’s not wrong. For decades now, going solar has meant sticking what looks like a bunch of, well, “solar cells” to your roof. That’s fine for some, but far from ideal. “Some people will always celebrate the tech-y symbolism of a typical solar panel,” says Aaron Dorf, an architect at Snøhetta who works on some of the firm’s zero-emission projects, “but it will eventually become a first generation relic, like an Atari or a car phone.” Looking to the near future, says Dorf, installation costs and solar cell efficiency won’t be limiting factors. “Musk is smart to directly target what may be the more significant threshold—beauty.” Tesla isn’t the only company placing a premium on aesthetics, let’s look as Ascent. In the past few years, solar panels have become not just more affordable, but translucent, colorful, flexible, and cleverly disguised. Ascent Solar’s WaveSol™ Mobile, flexible, thin-film modules are specifically produced for integrating solar power into electronic devices and consumer products. WaveSol™ Light modules are manufactured on ultra-thin plastic substrates, which provide the flexibility necessary for easy integration to all types of materials including fabrics and plastics. Ascent Solar’s CIGS technology also offers the greatest power per space compared to other available technologies.In June 2016, Victor Lee, President and CEO of Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. announced, ”Given the continuous expansion of our retail footprint, particularly with the previously announced increased penetration of our distribution effort into more than 1,000 Verizon Wireless authorized retail stores, we remain optimistic on the opportunities ahead for growth."Mr. Lee concluded, "With entrance into several new retailers in the first half of the year, we are focused on delivering improved results heading into the second half of the year. We have also made great progress in the defense and emergency preparedness market, particularly in the increasing interest shown in our award winning, military graded MilPak E solar and battery integrated blanket, which we believe will add to our significant revenue velocity going forward. We look forward to updating our shareholders as we work through the next phase of our development."Certain limiting factors are joined by others that have always defined solar technology, chiefly: the photovoltaic cells’ orientation towards the sun, the stress solar panels can place on older structures, and cost versus efficiency. It’s safe to assume that Ascent and Musk are mulling all this over—and have been, for years—but their “beautiful, stunning, all-in-one system” presents a considerable design challenge—one that Ascent is already hustling to solve. When on considers that ASTI trades for only $0.02 a share and with that you get a lot of upside, if Elon Musk is right. We will be updating our subscribers as soon as we know more. For the latest updates on ASTI, sign up below!Disclosure: We have NO position in ASTI and have NOT been compensated for this article.

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