March 23, 2006 4:00 AM PST
The next big thing in clean tech?
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Metrolight: The company essentially makes processors and software that can replace the traditional control systems in High Intensity Discharge, or HID, lights used in streetlights and fixtures in stores. By more acutely controlling the electricity going to these lights, power bills can be cut. Lighting consumes 20 percent to 25 percent of all the electricity in the industrialized world, according to Metrolight founder Yigal Yanai. The company's revenue over the last 12 months came to $3.3 million.
MWOE Solar: CEO and University of Toledo professor Xunming Deng says he can cut the costs involved in manufacturing amorphous silicon solar panels by 90 percent. (Most solar panels employ rigid crystalline silicon solar panels, which harvest more energy. But flexible amorphous silicon panels are growing in demand.)
Deng, however, would not describe how his company can reduce the costs in this manner. The only clue he gave was that MWOE's panels incorporate silicon and germanium, not just silicon. MWOE has an exclusive license on the technology from the university.
TecHarmonic: Although not a huge contributor to global warming, semiconductor manufacturing requires a number of chemical gases. TecHarmonic makes equipment that eliminates those gases. The equipment can also be used at disk drive and solar factories to abate regulated gases.
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