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Akron inventor Stanford Ovshinsky dies
Held over 400 patents
by WKSU's MARK URYCKI


Reporter
Mark Urycki
 
In The Region:

A prolific inventor and Akron native has died.  Stan Ovshinsky invented the modern-day rechargeable battery and the most common solar cell.   And as WKSU’s Mark Urycki reports, he was hoping to spark some new life in his hometown’s economy.

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Stan Ovshinsky is credited with more than 300 patents, including the ubiquitous nickel metal hydride rechargeable battery.   After growing up in Akron, working in metal shops and later for Goodyear, he moved to Detroit and started his own company with his scientist wife Iris.   They pioneered the thin film photovoltaic cells and new ways to harness the power of hydrogen.   He found a way to safely form hydrogen fuel in a brick about the size of a hockey puck.  In 2005 he announced his company ECD Ovonics would set up a facility in his hometown.

 “What we’d really like to do is have a hydrogen storage company in Akron because when we make it we have to make it by the tons and tons and tons if you’re going to replace oil, if your’re going to replace wood and coal.  It is a gigantic industry.”

But a year later his wife and partner Iris died and he left the company to start a new one focused on information technology.  The Akron facility was never built.

Ovshinsky never went to college but was named by Time Magazine as a Hero for the Planet,  named to the Solar Hall of Fame and to the Environmental Hall of Fame.  The Akron native was never named to the Inventors Hall of Fame.   Last month his birthday was celebrated early in the Congressional record

Stan Ovshinsky died Wednesday.   He was 89.  

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