SPD Control Systems Corporation (SCSC) is a design, development manufacturing and support Cleantech company developing electronic control systems for energy efficiency by utilizing a new type of window glass known as SPD Smart Glass. An SPD window is a revolutionary product featuring electrically controlled window tinting film. The technology behind SPD Smart Glass has significant benefits over preceding glass tinting technologies, such as its unparalleled ability to rapidly and precisely change to a desired transparency level (clear through dark) within 1 to 2 seconds regardless of the window size, its ability to be placed on or within both plastic and glass, its ability to be applied to curved surfaces, its wider range of operating temperatures, and its lower cost of manufacture. Coming at a time when the world is acutely aware of energy consumption, SPD Glass has a potential to save 20% of the energy costs in residential and commercial buildings and reduce fuel use in cars.
What are your future milestones, and how much capital will you need to achieve each of the milestones outlined?:
We expect a $2,000,000 investment to allow us to become cash flow positive and that a $60M+ sales level can be achieved in 5 years.
How many future rounds of financing do you project? :
One of equal size.
Who is the Customer?:
The group of window company licensees who are the only groups allowed to manufacture the Smart Glass windows. They incorporate our electronics with their windows or they introduce us to their customers and have us work directly with the end user. Such was the case with tha automotive industry.
What is the Customer Pain that you are solving?:
Glass companies are experts at manufacturing windows. They know nothing about electronics and certainly do not have the background to create complex systems to automatically control all of the windows in a small or large scale buildings to block or utilize solar energy to reduce energy consumption by up to 25% in buildings. We manufacture highly scalable wireless controllers and energy management systems to operate any size building or for installation in vehicles to reduce their energy consumption.
Names of any current or recent customers:
We have active projects with 6 worldwide automakers. We have a demonstrable architectural system that implements the design in our patent application that we created under a contract from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
What is the Target Market?:
Integration of Smart Glass and our electronics into all auto manufacturers and into multiple vehicles at each manufacturer. Including cars, trunks and industrial vehicles. And the incorporation of Smart Glass and our electronic controllers and energy management systems into residential and commercial buildings of all sizes on a world wide basis.
The primary competition at the present time are the licensees themselves as they have the rights to build basic electrical controls for individual windows. But licensees are primarily glass companies and do not have electronic expertise and certainly not full-scale systems design expertise required for even windows across an entire residential home, let alone a skyscraper. Many are already working with us instead of hiring outside consultants to design one-of-a-kind products for them. Eventually, after a significant number of worldwide installations are in the field, companies of significant size and capabilities will notice the size of this market and look toward entering it. This would include Lutron and Crestron for controllers and control systems and Honeywell, Johnson Controls and Seimens for integration with their whole building HVAC and security products. To protect our IP we have filed a very extensive patent of over 290 claims in the US, throughout Europe and Japan.
Energy Conservation Through Dynamic Windows
We are selling directly to major worldwide automobile manufacturers. In the architectural marketplace we are selling to a closed group of window manufacturers who are licensed to manufacture SPD Smart Glass windows. They incorporate our electronics with their windows.
Product/Services Overview (what does it do):
SPD glass has the ability to block solar energy passing through it to varying degrees depending upon the amount of tinting is applied to the glass. In a skyscraper out electronic controllers would track the movement of the sun throughout the day and would otimally set the tint leve as to reduce HVAC requirments of hte building. In addition, because the windows on the side of a bulding not facing the sun can be turned clear, there is a further energy savings through the use of natural light in lieu of artificial light. In automobiles by blocking the sun when the car is not in use in the summer, less AC is used thus increasing fuel economy. The maximum legal tinting can be applied on bright sunny days, yet at night the windows can be made clear to maximize views.
What makes the technology/business unique and have a defendable competitive advantage?:
To protect our IP we have filed very extensive patents in the US, throughout Europe and Japan. Any coordinated use of multiple windows be it wired or wireless is covered by our patents as well as many basic operational functions of Smart-Glass electronics. This covers vehicles and architectural applications. As of January 2012, we have 3 granted US patents, a pending US patent, a pending European patent designating every European country covered by the Patent Cooperation Treaty, and two pending Japan patents.
Describe in detail the technology used in the Project - Address the innovation in significant detail :
The master controllers talk to the individual controllers via a wireless mesh network. This results in 3 major product areas for SCSC – controllers, master controllers, and controller networks. Controller networks add additional cost (and profits) to each controller sold and master controllers are significantly more expensive than window controllers.
What are the principles of the technology? :
We manufacture elecrronic controllers that are capable of driving 8, 16 or 32 windows indivudally, allowing each window to be individually tinted to any level between 0% to 100%. The tinting changes within 1 - 2 seconds. In architectural applications the controller have an integrated wireless, slef-contained, redundant, self-healing, mesh network integrated into them which allows for easy integration into a building. A master controller programmed via a web browser wirelessly commissions each of the compnents of the network and allows for easy reconfiguration of multi-tenant buildings where walls are often relocated. Each controller supports sensors (such as photosensors, temperature and occupany to effect operations. Switches connected to the controller allow for manual override of automated energy reduction processes. Any switch may control any window or group of windows located anywhere in the building.
What, if anything, has been proven (and how far is this from a commercial scale)? :
Automotive controllers were sent to a dozen different auto manufacturers for evaluation. Six of these firms now have active projects. A operational prototype of our architectual system has been created and is demo'd at our Web site.
What challenges/risk does the technology face for commercialization?:
The only challanges are economic ones and not technical ones. We know what needs to be done and just need the funds to do it.
Patent Numbers (Filed/Approved):
US 2008/0043316 A2 International WO/2007/029215 Japanese National Phase - IP2008-037/NT apanese Patent Application No.: 2008-529766 European Application - 06809272.5 - PCT/IB2006053192
Barry Lipsky - CEO Franklin Electronics
Bob Heins - LEEDs Architect
Research Frontiers Inc - OTC: REFR
If raising funds, what shall the funds be used for?:
Close licensing contracts Close product sales orders Further Patent Applications Marketing Engineering Working Capital