A Bright Outlook for Solar

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Finding innovative ways to improve performance of solar panels. (Image: SunDensity)

SunDensity just closed their $2.5M initial round of financing, which was led by Clean Energy Ventures. SunDensity has developed a photonic smart coating (PSC) technology that increases the power output of any solar module by as much as 20%. The coating turns blue photons red, allowing for greater absorption.

Why does this matter?

  • Commercial solar PV today is inefficient, with the best performance between 20–30%.
  • The US alone will install nearly 100 GW of solar from 2021–2025, 42% more than was installed over the last five years.
  • The global solar energy market size was valued at $52.5B in 2018 and is projected to reach $223B by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 20.5% from 2019 to 2026.
  • PSC could increase the output of solar panels, reducing the number of modules needed to produce the same amount of electricity, cutting installation costs, and reducing land usage.
  • SunDensity has the potential to prevent more than 2.5 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions between now and 2050.

What’s next?

  • SunDensity is in talks with glass and panel manufacturers, and currently has letters of intent for up to 1.5 gigawatts’ worth of coated solar panels. Additionally, SunDensity is aiming to get its coating to market during the second half of 2021.
  • PSC decreases costs by helping generate 20% more energy, increases the lifespan of PV, and reduces the life cycle cost of solar energy.
  • PSC can be used on new or existing panels, as well as any type of solar cell technology.
  • Other applications for PSC include increasing the quantum efficiency of infrared sensors and image sensors for surveillance cameras and can also reduce heating and ventilation loads for buildings.

Thoughts

If you can’t beat the competition, join them. SunDensity is taking a strategic position by creating technology that can be used on new and existing solutions, as well as having many potential applications. There are many market dynamics happening in the solar sector, from innovations like PSC to sun tracking and improvements in materials/manufacturing. The outcome is clear, the cost of solar PV will continue to decrease as improvements in the ecosystem come to market.

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Written by

Impact Investment Analyst at One World | Startup Weekend Facilitator | Climate Tech Enthusiast

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