The person dubbed the ‘Solar King’ has returned to Australia to launch a flagship photo voltaic venture in Sydney and has set his sights on filling a spot within the photo voltaic market along with his new eArche photo voltaic module design that has achieved astonishing reductions in weight and dimension.
Dr Shi Zhengrong, who for a time was the world’s first clear vitality billionaire, on Wednesday opens a 235kW photo voltaic set up at Sydney’s Maritime Museum, utilizing modern light-weight photo voltaic modules that Dr Shi hopes can faucet into an enormous unserved marketplace for light-weight rooftop solar energy in Australia.
“Photo voltaic has been round for a very long time, nearly half a century. Within the final 20 years, the photo voltaic business has gone from a distinct segment market to one of many main renewable vitality industries globally.” Dr Shi mentioned.
“We’re getting into the subsidy free area, and photo voltaic has develop into an inexpensive supply of electrical energy. Photo voltaic has develop into an inexpensive supply of electrical energy. In that context, we ask what’s subsequent?”
Dr Shi advised RenewEconomy that he sees a unbroken, and rising, market alternative for solar energy to be built-in into residence design, describing the market as being akin to a ‘furniture-style’ market the place clients are starting to view solar energy as a necessary characteristic of the house.
Nonetheless, because of technical constraints, many houses and companies have successfully been locked out of the marketplace for solar energy.
To handle this, new merchandise will must be dropped at the market by means of his new Sunman enterprise that may enable photo voltaic programs to be included into housing merchandise reminiscent of roofing and shade buildings.
“Should you come to this ‘outside furnishings’ form of market, it’s actually depending on the aesthetics and design. We developed the eArche to attempt to crack this new market, as its made with no glass and could be built-in into nearly something,” Dr Shi advised RenewEconomy.
SunMan has developed the eArche photo voltaic module design, that avoids the necessity for encasing the photo voltaic cells in glass and aluminium buildings through the use of composite supplies, and because of this, has achieved a photo voltaic module design that’s 70 per cent lighter, and 80 per cent thinner than conventional modules.
The mix of a thinner, lighter and versatile design creates the potential for the photo voltaic fashions to be built-in into constructing supplies and might be deployed onto buildings with weight limitations.
SunMan sees the Australian market as being significantly engaging for the low-weight photo voltaic module design, which might facilitate the set up of rooftop photo voltaic programs onto factories and warehouses that won’t have the ability to help the load of typical photo voltaic modules.
By increasing the potential marketplace for distributed photo voltaic programs, SunMan additionally hopes to keep away from among the points which have impacted large-scale photo voltaic initiatives.
“The big-scale photo voltaic farm are beginning to face issues, from marginal loss elements and curtailment. The distributed market makes extra sense and is gaining popularity. However should you have a look at industrial or industrial buildings, many of those buildings can’t deal with the load. We see this because the low hanging fruit.”
The Australian Nationwide Maritime Museum in Sydney will function the host of Sunman’s first flagship venture in Australia.
The museum had been investigating the set up of photo voltaic panels on museum’s buildings however discovered that the roof buildings wouldn’t have the ability to deal with the load of ordinary panels, and mixed with the 30-degree pitch of the constructing’s roof, conventional modules needed to be dominated out.
The 235kW set up will provide round 1 / 4 of the facility consumption of the museum’s Wharf 7 constructing in Darling Harbour. The system will utilise SunMan’s eArche photo voltaic panel design, considerably lowering the load of the photo voltaic set up.
“We got here throughout a singular glass-free photo voltaic panel from SunMan. The 5.5 kg light-weight panels might overcome the constructing’s structural challenges and still have the identical energy output as 20kg typical panels” the museum’s director Kevin Sumption mentioned.
“After I developed eArche I knew it might unlock the potential for photo voltaic on buildings which have been beforehand unable to help typical glass photo voltaic panels,” Dr Shi mentioned.
“eArche improvements reminiscent of its light-weight, flexibility, excessive efficiency and aggressive prices, signifies that photo voltaic can now be utilized to any constructing design.”
The eArche photo voltaic mannequin utilises in any other case customary monocrystalline PERC photo voltaic cells, which have been encapsulated right into a construction utilizing composite supplies, that present the identical sturdiness and efficiency as common photo voltaic cells whereas attaining a dramatic discount within the weight of the modules.
The corporate launched the light-weight and versatile panels in Australia in 2017, and supplied an indication of their potential by means of their deployment on a ‘photo voltaic prepare’ venture in Byron Bay.
Dr Shi Zhengrong was amongst the primary to realize industrial success the early days of the photo voltaic business, rising to develop into the primary ‘photo voltaic billionaires’ and one of many richest folks in each China and Australia.
Having accomplished his doctorate on the College of New South Wales below professor Martin Inexperienced, Dr Shi noticed the chance to take the improvements developed in Australia out of the lab and take them to the market.
Dr Shi leveraged his expertise at UNSW to begin one of many first extremely profitable photo voltaic producers in Suntech, which had grown to develop into the world’s greatest photo voltaic panel producer in 2011 earlier than the corporate got here unstuck because of a fast growth within the firm simply as a considerable provide glut hit within the worldwide photo voltaic market.
Dr Shi now hopes to repeat this success by tapping right into a at present unserved marketplace for photo voltaic PV and has received the backing from ARENA.
SunMan Power has acquired a $6.6 million funding from the Southern Cross Renewable Power Fund, which is a partnership between the Softbank China Enterprise Capital and the Australian Renewable Power Company, with every group tipping in $3.Three million.
“The photo voltaic expertise created by SunMan is an modern and versatile various that may assist to include photo voltaic into buildings making photo voltaic a key a part of the constructing course of, and permitting photo voltaic to be put in on curved surfaces or heritage buildings,” ARENA CEO Darren Miller mentioned.
“The Southern Cross Renewable Power Fund challenges corporations and entrepreneurs to suppose outdoors the field and SunMan has achieved this.”