Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for the energy sector. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we want to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising advanced silicon photovoltaics startups.
Heat Map: 5 Top Advanced Silicon Photovoltaics Startups
For our 5 top picks, we used a data-driven startup scouting approach to identify the most relevant solutions globally. The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 interesting examples out of 204 relevant solutions. Depending on your specific needs, your top picks might look entirely different.
Kuga Electrical – Passivated Emitter & Rear Cell (PERC)
The key to choosing the right solar panel is to find a balance between cost and efficiency. PERC technology boosts efficiency in both low-light conditions and when temperatures are high to capture more of the sun’s energy. The difference between PERC cells and typical monocrystalline photovoltaic (PV) cells is the integration of a back surface passivation layer that reflects light that passes through the silicon cell, without being absorbed into the silicon. It allows the solar cell a second attempt at absorbing more incoming solar radiation, and as a result, generates more energy.
Australian startup Kuga Electrical delivers full service commercial solar installations based on mono-PERC solar cells. Their solar panels are built with PERC technology and allow for energy-dense solar installations. Kuga Electrical takes care of all aspects from engineering and procurement to installation. They specialize in helping projects achieve energy-efficiency and to become less reliant on the main electricity grid.
Energyra – Metal Wrap Through (MWT) Technology
Today’s solar modules suffer from high front surface shading and from resistance losses in the tabbing material. To significantly reduce these losses metal wrap through technology uses only industrial applicable production technologies. This technology enables electricity to be removed off the back of a cell, allowing it to capture more energy. Moreover, the MWT method reduces the risk of microcracks at higher outputs.
Dutch startup Energyra combines innovative cells and MWT technology. They manufacture lightweight monocrystalline solar modules suitable for both rooftop applications and commercial projects. The modules feature high efficiency, excellent weak-light performance, and remain durable under dynamic weather conditions.
Sapphire – Nano-Structured Black Silicon
Black solar cells are an attractive option for regions with not-too-sunny weather. Nano-structured black silicon cells prevent light reflection and give a black appearance of tiny silicon structures. The black silicon structure allows the cell to absorb more light and collect more energy, while regular crystalline silicon absorbs indirect photons less efficiently than direct sunlight.
Australian startup Sapphire designs and fabricates solar energy systems to make them efficient by using nanostructured “black silicon”. Full Black Mono Cell technology produces high-quality solar PV and energy storage products. To implement this technology into solar modules, the company adds a dense network of nanoscale needles on top of a standard silicon wafer. Moreover, they use 5-busbar technology for enhanced cell output and an anti-reflective tempered glass coating to maximize light penetration.
EcoSolifer – Heterojunction Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells
The heterojunction technology (HJT) bypasses traditional limits on temperature as these types of panels exhibit high efficiency at high operating temperatures and a low power factor temperature. Multilayering enhances the performance of solar cells by better absorbing diffused light and showing higher resistance to partial shading. The technology combines the main advantages of crystalline and thin-film amorphous modules and enables for a slow light-degradation.
Swiss startup EcoSolifer manufactures crystalline silicon solar cells with the excellent absorption and passivation characteristics of amorphous silicon. Their heterojunction technology delivers solar cells with higher levels of energy efficiency while having fewer steps in the production process. This cost-saving process contains an outstanding thermal coefficient, thus ensuring the highest energy yield under warm operational conditions.
SolAround – Bifacial Solar Panels
To solve the problem of intermittent sunlight and adverse weather conditions, bifacial cells are used to generate power from the sun’s radiation on the front and reflected irradiation on the back. These cells make use of high-quality monocrystalline silicon for manufacturing transparent glass on both sides. With a greater amount of reflection, bifacial panels capture and produce more energy. The bottom cells are more efficient as they use silicon in monocrystalline cells.
Australian startup SolAround develops a proprietary solar photovoltaic p-PERT cell technology and manufacturing process. They create bifacial solar cells and panels that maximize energy density and significantly reduce the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) for PV plants. Their technology is made possible by their utilization of standard p-type silicon along with their unique solar bifacial cells.
What About The Other 199 Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence for your Proof of Concept (PoC), partnership, or investment targets. The 5 startups showcased above are promising examples out of 204 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria and collaboration strategy, get in touch.