The Startup Polytechnique de Lausanne produces photovoltaic modules equipped with a concentration and monitoring system that increases the conversion efficiency to 29%. With the completion of a new round of financing, it is ready to enter the market. A project we talked about in 2016 and which will finally hit the market.
Insolight, a newly created Swiss company that produces “bubbled” solar panels, raised in these days 5 million francs (approximately 4.6 million euros) and is ready to make its debut on the market.
This capital injection is in addition to the 10 million Swiss francs granted by the European Union to HIPERION, the consortium of researchers and companies which is working to create the first pilot assembly line for these innovative modules.
What is special about them?
First of all, the high conversion efficiency: the technology has a performance of 29%, while current photovoltaic modules are between 18 and 20%.
The secret to this high performance lies in a mix of solutions, starting with optical coating layer giving it its original “bubble” appearance.
The protective glass incorporates rows of hexagonal lenses that concentrate the sun’s rays into small photovoltaic segments, no larger than a few square millimeters.
But the real innovation lies in the micro-tracking system, patented for commissioning, which allows capture 100% of the light whatever the angle of incidence.
The glasses move a few millimeters during the day to follow the different positions of the sun in the sky and thus maintain the solar cells always at full capacity.
“Thanks to optically improved light input – explains the company – Insolight modules can achieve optimum efficiency with only 0.5% of the area covered by the cells. This approach significantly reduces the cost of photovoltaics per occupied space. This use of materials and its weight make it ideal for installation on roofs and flat roofs.. “
The optical system can also be mounted on conventional solar panels to maximize energy production.
In addition, Insolight has created a translucent version (THEIA) especially for your use in agriculture or architectural integration. These modules allow dynamic regulation of transmitted sunlight, moving from a mode of “electricity generation” in which only diffused sunlight is transmitted to the underlying surfaces, to a “maximum transmission” in which the production of light. The electricity is interrupted to let all the light pass on the panel.
“The photovoltaic energy market may be relatively new, but it is already worth around 650 million euros, with a total installed capacity of 5 GWp», Declares Laurent Coulot, CEO of Insolight.
During tests carried out at the Tecnova Foundation, an agricultural center in Spain, the system increased crop biomass by 20%, creating a favorable microclimate, protecting plants from extreme weather conditions and modulating direct sunlight.
More information: insolight.ch