The funding allowed Renovagen to explore applications for the technology such as disaster relief, telecommunications, construction, festivals and other outdoor events.
The company’s work aligns with one of the core themes of the government’s Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges, looking at ways to achieve clean growth through low-carbon technologies and a more resource-efficient economy.
Flexible film for light, efficient solar panels
Renovagen uses copper indium gallium selenide solar cells in its panels, which can be moulded into a thin, flexible film. This allows the panels to be easily deployed or removed from a site.
The cells also capture sunlight more efficiently than traditional glass panels, which means their angle of deployment and available light levels are less important.
Its technology is now used in 2 systems. The ‘FAST FOLD’ solar mat can be quickly rolled out by hand and packed away when no longer needed and stored in a car. It can function as a mobile headquarters for festivals and events.
‘RAPID ROLL T’ is larger and can be rolled out by a specially-adapted vehicle and trailer for bigger sites within 2 minutes. It’s designed to cope with power-hungry applications, such as mining, disaster relief, events and film production, and could power a 120-bed mobile clinic.
Large-scale solar fields
The immediate future for Renovagen will involve further investment in solar field technology for even larger applications again.
Measuring up to 10 metres wide and 200 metres long, the system currently being developed could be assembled in a few hours to power large-scale operations such as mining sites, oil and gas operations or military medical facilities.
The company believes it is only a matter of time before an output of up to 600kWp could be possible - mobilising solar power on an industrial scale and making large, remote, off-grid power generation a reality.