21 Oct Kick-off Eureka project to develop innovative production methods
VENLO – 21 October 2016 – Earlier this week we had the honor to invite our partners of the Eureka Eurostar project at our factory in the Netherlands. The Eureka-grant of €2,68 million we received for this project will allow us to develop innovative production methods together with leading companies in this industry, being the University of Gävle, Blue Engineering, FOSS, TUV Cyprus, Johnsun Heaters and Instituto Superior Técnico. During two days of meetings we had fruitful discussions to start the developing process of e.g. an automated production process. We intensified our relations and ensured that we are all on the same page and ready to start the development.
GAINING FURTHER MARKET CREDIBILITY
The Eureka-grant is a funding for a project period of three years and means a very strong impulse to the design for mass production of Solarus revolutionary PowerCollector, a hybrid (photovoltaic and heat) solar collector that at peak produces three to four times more energy than a standard PV-panel. The project also includes a certification by TÜV of the final design of the PowerCollector, thus gaining further market credibility.
CONSISTENT QUALITY WHILE PRODUCING HIGH VOLUMES
Solarus today has a unique patented design for a concentrating Photovoltaic/Thermal solar collector (producing heat & electricity from the same box). This design has been installed at more than fifty sites worldwide, is tested successfully and, if produced in large scale, is expected to out-compete other collectors in €/total kWh produced. The main goals of the Eureka-project are to finalize the product design, so that it can be produced in an automated manner and to create the automated manufacturing methods. Robotized production safeguards consistent quality while producing high volumes. These are crucial steps to consolidate cost competitiveness. After finalization of the project, the production costs of the collector are estimated to be a factor 3 lower than the current level.
The heart of the PowerCollector is the receiver where PV-cells are mounted and heat is collected. Automating the production of this receiver is key to obtain both quality and quantity levels to reach the market. The automation will entail developing unique machinery: Solarus novel solution for PV cell encapsulation with liquid silicon is a clear example of this. Additional goals are to increase electrical and thermal performance, reach new markets (e.g. develop a concentrator specific for low latitudes) since the consortium already has an order of a production line at low latitudes (South Africa), increasing durability, making the collector as easy to install as possible (identified by IEA and ESTIF as one of the major bottlenecks with solar thermal) and product certification (fundamental for mass sales).
Solarus is a private company founded in 2006 and it develops, produces and sells hybrid solar PowerCollectors with a peak efficiency up to 70%. The company is headquartered in Venlo (The Netherlands) and has an R&D centre in Gävle (Sweden). Solarus works worldwide with local distributors and installers and is now active in Europe, (South) Africa, India, Brazil and Turkey. The company’s mission is ‘Solar power for the people’. By being good Solarus is doing good, which is a reason for Solarus to be a certified BCorp.