Ascent Solar Technologies (Nasdaq:ASTI), which makes lightweight, flexible, thin-film solar PV modules, has been honored as one of Time Magazine's 50 Best Inventions of 2011 in the November 28 issue.
Time refers to Ascent's solar panels as "ingenious" for their ability to be directly integrated with building materials without the limitations of standard, glass solar panels.
Ascent's solar panels are designed to integrate with limitless applications, transforming unused surface areas into a source of solar energy.
Ascent is one six green inventions recognized this year, which includes breakthroughs in science, technology and the arts. In the past, the iPad, Nissan Leaf, 3-D cameras, and the world's first synthetic cells have been on the list.
Another honoree is Pratt & Whitney's PurePower® PW1000G engine, described as "the most important development in aviation in 2011."
The company is setting a new standard in the industry for fuel efficiency. PurePower engines deliver double-digit improvements in fuel efficiency and emissions with 50% less noise than today's engines. Over 1,800 PurePower engines are on order by customers around the world.
A third green technology honored is PolyPlus's high-energy, lithium battery, which is used in the marine market in applicatoins like underwater robots and unmanned, underwater vehicles.
The Protected Lithium Electrode battery is encased in a patented membrane which allows it to react with ordinary seawater or air to deliver unprecedented energy density levels in a non-toxic, inherently safe product. This makes the battery much easier and cheaper to produce and significantly reduces its size and weight.
Without the membrane, lithium reacts vigorously with water and rapidly dissolves, or rapidly oxidizes when exposed to air.
The lithium-water battery has achieved a world record energy density of 1,300 Wh/kg, many times more than the maximum energy density of current lithium-ion batteries.
The company is also developing a lithium-air rechargeable battery for portable electronics and electric vehicles, where it holds the promise of achieving the "holy grail" of 500 miles per charge.
Let us know if you hear about the other 3 green inventions honored, since only paid subscribers can read the magazine online.