Sol Voltaics announced that the Swedish Energy Agency (SEA), Sweden’s national authority for energy policy issues, has provided the company a $6 million conditional loan to further the commercial development of SolinkTM, an economical nanomaterial that promises to increase the efficiency of solar modules by up to 25% percent.
Sol Voltaics also announced that Erik Sauar, who for more than ten years served as the Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President at solar manufacturer REC and a longtime leader in the European solar industry, has become an investor.
The loan is one of the largest ever issued to a company by the SEA, which manages the development of Sweden’s energy system.
Solink is a gallium arsenide additive for crystalline silicon or thin-film solar modules that enables modules to convert more of the sun’s light into electricity. Gallium arsenide is the most efficient solar material available, but it has been confined to niche markets because of high costs. Sol Voltaics solves this problem by minimizing the amount of gallium arsenide needed: less than a gram of nanowires is required to produce Solink-enhanced modules. Each gallium arsenide nanowire in Solink, in fact, is an independent solar cell, making a Solink-enhanced module a vertically stacked device that generates energy from a wider light spectrum than a standard solar panel.
With Solink, a solar power plant or residential rooftop solar array will generate up to 25 percent more power than a standard system of the same size or generate an equal amount of power with smaller arrays. By maximizing the physical assets, labor and real estate needed for photovoltaic systems, Sol Voltaics reduces the price of solar electricity.
Solink is applied to conventional solar panels toward the end of the existing module production process with relatively inexpensive standard equipment.