French start-up Edgehog Advanced Technologies (Edgehog) has developed an omnidirectional anti-reflective glass for solar panels which it claims can increase their annual energy production by 6-12%.
“Modules equipped with our anti-reflecting coating reach their full potential not only when the sun is at its zenith (midday) but also at the start and end of the day, thus extending the operating range of the solar panels,” the company’s CEO, Fabien Dauzou, told pv magazine. “With a perpendicular incidence to the panel, the gain is 4-5% in energy. In contrast, for the start and end of the day, where energy demand is greatest, the gain can reach 25% more energy produced.”
The coating is a combination of nanotexturing and nanotechnology. Thanks to the significant advances made in the field of integrated circuits, flat screens and advanced materials, the process can be applied directly to glass and on an industrial scale, according to the company. “This is an important breakthrough that has only recently been achieved, propelling the field of anti-reflection into another era,” Dauzou added. “Edgehog was thus able to combine a whole range of knowhow to produce the eluminar solar glass, to create nanotextures on the glass itself, which allows light to be transmitted from all angles.”
The startup was established in 2018. Initially, applications for Edgehog technology were flat screens, smartphones and optics. “However, after attentive analysis, we realized that solar could also benefit from it in an even more promising way by directly addressing the two important problems,” Dauzou explained. These are the improvement in the efficiency of the solar panel and its cleaning and maintenance.
According to its CEO, Edgehog’s technological and biomimetic innovation enables the license to be distributed to both glass manufacturers and solar panel manufacturers. “At the same time, our start-up produces eluminar solar glass in small quantities for the aerospace industry and optics such as lenses,” he also stated. “Edgehog is a venture capital backed company accepting investment as the business grows and, currently, talks are under way for our fundraising with potential investors.”
Dauzou also explained that, as a start-up, the company has more issues in convincing large groups active in solar energy, especially when the technology is new, and that it is therefore essential to set up actions and partnerships to demonstrate what he claims to be the unparalleled properties of the proposed solution. “In addition, an important point when creating new technology is the need for international standards for testing, which sometimes causes a lack of understanding from future customers or reluctance,” he added. “All of these challenges lead to an educational effort on our part towards our potential partners and investors.”
Dauzou claims that crucial for the future of the technology will be forming partnerships with manufacturers of solar panels and solar glass. In addition, it is also necessary to carry out collaborations with big manufacturers for large scale factories. “We are currently in the process of completing our next round of funding and are open to partnerships and investment opportunities,” he said.
Source: pv magazine