Dyesol celebrates award and sures up share price

01. March 2012 | Markets & Trends, Global PV markets, Research & Development | By:  Jonathan Gifford

Australian dye-sensitized photovoltaics developer Dyesol, which is developing Dye Solar Cell (DSC) applications, has taken steps to sure up its share price. At the same time, the "father" of DSC has been awarded the 2012 Albert Einstein World Award of Science.

Two ladies in a lab. One has red hair, the other's is moving as she walks.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard visited Dyesol research labs last year, here with Sylvia Tulloch.

In a day of mixed news, Dyesol has celebrated the recognition of Michael Grätzel, the researcher who first developed the DSC technology that Dyesol hopes to commercialize. Grätzel is Director of the Laboratory of Photonics and Interfaces at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland and is also the chairman of Dyesol’s Technology Advisory Board.

"Not only is this a tremendous mark of respect for Grätzel by the global scientific world, it is also an overwhelming vote of confidence in Dyesol and the future of DSC applications," claimed Dyesol Director Gordon Thompson, in a statement announcing the award.

Sylvia Tulloch is a director at Dyesol and she told pv magazine that Grätzel has had a long-term collaboration with the Australian company and that his technology forms the core of Dyesol’s endeavors. "We have collaborated with Michael in various ways and across various programs and we have access to ongoing developments coming from his EPFL team," said Tulloch.

Dyesol then takes the Swiss team’s innovations on a cell level and translates that into manufacturing scale. "The processing technology, the module design technology, that’s where our work comes in," explained Tulloch.

Dyesol also made an announcement that it will bring to an end an Equity Line of Credit, which was forcing down the company’s share price. Tulloch and other founding members of the company's board have strongly advocated for the Equity Line of Credit to be closed. Dyesol’s share price has almost halved since September 2011.

To make up for the gap in financing, AUD6 million to AUD9 million (US$6.47 million to US$9.7 million) in shares will be issued at a discounted rate to existing shareholders, which Tulloch told pv magazine, have expressed an interest in acquiring more of Dyesol’s stock. "We have indications from our shareholder base that we will raise the money that will allow us to close off the Equity Line of Credit," said Tulloch, "we just won’t need it anymore."

At the same time Dyesol has announced moves to reduce costs by approximately 30 percent. Described by the company as reducing “cash burn”, Tulloch said the cost cutting will occur in a range of ways. "We’ve been making sure that we focus on delivering what our partners need, rather than what perhaps we’d like to do," explained Tulloch. Dyesol is currently developing the application of its DSC technology onto steel, with Tata Steel, and glass, with Pilkington Glass.

Today Dyesol reported a half-year loss today of approximately AUD5.4 million (US$5.8 million), which is down from the previous year’s loss of AUD8.6 million (US$9.3 million).

Tulloch remained upbeat about the company’s progress towards commercialization. She mentioned news from Dyesol’s Tata Steel collaboration that indicated that the steel giant will be integrating steel featuring DSC technology into projects that it is developing within the next 12 months. "When you’re dealing with enormous global companies, they have building stock themselves, there are lots of opportunities to do that," she said.

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