DayStar Technologies, Inc. (DSTI)
Business Update Call
July 8, 2008 5:00 pm ET
Deborah A. Stapleton – Stapleton Communications, Inc.
Stephen J. DeLuca - Chief Executive Officer & Director
William Steckel - Chief Financial Officer
Colin Rusch – Broadpoint Capital
Jonathan Hoopes – Thinkpanmure, LLC
Welcome you to the DayStar conference call. (Operator Instructions) I would now like to turn the call over to Deborah Stapleton.
Deborah A. Stapleton
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But before we begin I would like to remind you that some of the comments we will make on this call are forward-looking including, without limitation, statements regarding expectations of further technological development as well as timing and ability to scale to production capacity and complete the build out of a production facility.
These statements are only predictions based on assumptions that are believed to be reasonable at the time they are made and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. You should not rely on these forward-looking statements as representing our views in the future and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise these statements.
Our actual results may differ materially and adversely from any projections and forward-looking statements discussed on this call. Our Annual Report on Form 10-KSB and other forms on file with the SEC identify important risk factors and uncertainties that you should consider and that may affect whether our forward-looking statements prove to be correct.
Now I’ll turn the call over to Dr. Stephen DeLuca.
Stephen J. DeLuca
With me today is our new CFO, Bill Steckel. Bill will be making the formal presentation of our financial disclosures at our earnings release next month but he’ll also be available to take questions at the end of this session. I’m extremely happy to have Bill on our team and I look forward to his contributions in developing and implementing our financial strategy. While Bill is focused on strategic issues, Chris Lail will continue handling the Corporate Controlling function and based on his accomplishments at DayStar, I’m pleased to announce today that Chris has been promoted to Vice President and Corporate Controller.
Now we’d like to give you some context around the operational update today. Our last conference call we set out a significant milestone of releasing the design for our CIGS production tool by the end of Q2 this year. We know there is a lot of interest in our progress on Big Baby and how we are maintaining our timeline to begin production in Q1 2009. Rather than waiting for our earnings release which we are planning to do in early August, we decided to give you an operational update to answer these questions about our progress. As a reminder to those of you who have been following our progress this year we set milestones in three major areas, that’s mini-module development, engineering the scale up of our CIGS Deposition Process and building out the production line to begin partial shipments. I’ll update you on our progress in each of these areas.
While most of the mini-module development so far has been focused on the CIGS Deposition Process we have also used this program to develop processes for the other steps in making a complete module. A key feature for any PV module is its survivability and proper encapsulation is key to making modules that last more than 20 years in the environment. As I have discussed in the past CIGS is especially sensitive to moisture. Encapsulating processes and materials that work for silicon-based [thin phones] don’t necessarily work for CIGS due to moisture ingress. With this in mind we have developed lamination and edge seal processes for our glass modules that we have tested for moisture penetration. These test modules have passed the 1,000 [GMPS] heat test which we believe provides a good indication that our encapsulation process will protect the modules from moisture over a 20 year lifetime.
In cost effective manufacture of high performance CIGS getting the proper control on the incorporation of selenium is critical. The work on mini-modules has progressed from the initial task of proving out DayStar’s one step CIGS Deposition Process so that development of monitoring and control systems required for scale up of the process. We have successfully developed these systems to the point where we now believe we have effective control over the reactive sputtering process achieving stable, controllable and reproducible results has a direct impact on the scale up of our process in Big Baby and is a necessary step for ultimately meeting our goals of producing low cost photovoltaic panels in high volumes.
In our last update we said that Big Baby had arrived in our facility in Santa Clara and we stated our belief that we would be able to release the chamber design for our production tool by the enc of the second quarter. The initial tests on Big Baby have gone well and the films we have made have been well within the uniformity specifications we set. In this first stage of development we have been focused on fundamental engineering issues which allow us to make decisions about the viability of the tool for production.
First, the mechanical and electrical performance of the tool was shaken out in initial testing. The vacuum integrity, operation of the transport mechanism, load lock systems, computer controls were all validated. Secondly, since heating the sub-strait to high temperatures the key to our process we demonstrated the ability to bring the sub-straits to proper temperature in the time we believe is required for our process to work in production.