2.6.2003: Meldung: Uni-Solar Awarded Contract By U.S. Air Force

United Solar Systems Corp. (Uni-Solar), the world leader in thin-film amorphous silicon solar technology and a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD Ovonics) (Nasdaq: ENER - News), announced today that the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, NM (AFRL), has awarded Uni-Solar an $11.5 million, 18-month contract to develop new solar cell technology to be used in space and airship vehicles addressing defense and homeland security applications. AFRL has an option to fund the company an additional $7.8 million.

The contract builds upon the success of earlier contracts with the Air Force and will fund research activities to develop ultra-lightweight solar arrays as the next-generation solar power technology for Air Force missions using advanced materials and innovative manufacturing technology. It will be administered by the Advanced Space Power Generation Group in the Space Vehicles Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory.

UNI-SOLAR(TM) space photovoltaic (PV) products offer an ultra-light, low- cost alternative to conventional space PV modules made of crystalline silicon or gallium arsenide. The Uni-Solar triple-junction modules, originally developed for terrestrial applications, are made of amorphous silicon based thin-film alloys which are deposited on a 5-mil flexible stainless steel substrate. By utilizing a polymeric or a thinner stainless substrate, new space cells will be developed that have a specific power density greater than 600 watts per kilogram (W/kg). This is significantly higher than what is currently available. A high specific power density is required for airship application and, considering the high launching cost of satellites, lightweight cells also are economically attractive for space application. Furthermore, the radiation hardness and superior high-temperature performance of amorphous silicon make it an attractive material for space application.

"Our thin-film triple-junction products have received wide recognition for terrestrial applications and have proven to be especially promising for space use as well," said S.R. Ovshinsky, president and CEO of ECD and chairman and CEO of Uni-Solar. "In 1998, Uni-Solar"s space solar modules were successfully installed on the MIR Space Station. After 19 months and 252 million miles in space, the modules looked great and performed just as excellently as they did when on MIR. This program is important in expanding our product portfolio for space, stratospheric and terrestrial applications as well."

"There is a growing need for lightweight, flexible and durable solar arrays on satellites and airships," said Subhendu Guha, President and Chief Operating Officer of Uni-Solar. "We are delighted to work with the Air Force to develop products for this rapidly expanding market. In addition to having a technology and product uniquely suited for these applications, we have a state-of-the-art 30-megawatt manufacturing facility that allows us to appropriately satisfy the demands of our customers in the terrestrial market."

About Uni-Solar

Uni-Solar, building on technology invented and pioneered by ECD, is the world leader in thin-film amorphous photovoltaics. ECD and Uni-Solar hold the basic patents covering the continuous roll-to-roll manufacturing of thin- film amorphous silicon alloy multi-junction solar cells and related products. Uni- Solar offers a line of solar electric roofing panels, which are unique, flexible, lightweight and architecturally attractive. More information is available at www.uni-solar.com .

About ECD Ovonics

ECD Ovonics is the leader in the synthesis of new materials and the development of advanced production technology and innovative products. It has invented, pioneered and developed enabling technologies leading to new products and production processes based on amorphous, disordered and related materials, with an emphasis on advanced information technologies and alternative energy, including photovoltaics, fuel cells, hydride batteries and hydride storage materials capable of storing hydrogen in the solid state for use as a feedstock for fuel cells or internal combustion engines or as an enhancement or replacement for any type of hydrocarbon fuel. ECD Ovonics designs and builds manufacturing machinery that incorporates its proprietary production processes, maintains ongoing research and development programs to continually improve its products and develops new applications for its technologies. ECD Ovonics holds the basic patents in its fields. ECD"s website address is http:// www.ovonic.com .

This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Safe Harbor Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are based on assumptions which ECD Ovonics, as of the date of this release, believes to be reasonable and appropriate. ECD Ovonics cautions, however, that the actual facts and conditions that may exist in the future could vary materially from the assumed facts and conditions upon which such forward-looking statements are based.

Source: Uni-Solar
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