The Solar Cloth Company, specialising in flexible, lightweight solar cloth applicable to any type of new or existing building, has finished up a successful year by winning multiple awards for its innovative technology.
Due to its lightweight and flexible qualities, the company’s solar cloth is ideal for millions of square metres of non-load bearing roof space that cannot support solar panels. In the UK alone, Solar Cloth Company reported there are approximately 850 million square metres of car parking space available that have the potential to produce triple the amount of power fed into the UK’s grid if covered with solar technology.
“One of the main hindrances to solar panel adoption is that they can be difficult to install and integrate with existing architecture functionally and aesthetically,” said Professor Hans Haenlein, advisor to The Solar Cloth Company. “Flexible solar cloth overcomes all of these problems and can add real value to existing and upcoming sites.”
The Cambridge start-up won an award at the 2014 Solar UK Industry Awards for Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) Innovation of the Year: the world’s first lightweight, flexible solar carport in Cambridge. It was also named the winner of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Innovation Gateway 2014, the UK’s largest search for “green” solutions, and will receive a grant before being rolled out for testing on the RBS estate of 2,500 buildings across the UK. And finally, the Solar Cloth Company qualified as a finalist in Cleantech Innovate 2015, a competition backed by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to find the most investable cleantech company.
In collaboration with the University of Cambridge and other universities in Europe, Solar Cloth Company is trying to produce the UK’s first low-cost flexible thin film photovoltaics (TFPV) with commercial non-load bearing roofing spaces, such as football stadiums, warehouses, and supermarkets, in mind. The company said it is currently discussing roll outs of its TFPV across UK airports and some of London’s major museums.
Perry Carroll, The Solar Cloth Company founder and acting chief executive officer, said: “In a market where the adoption of traditional solar panels has stalled, TFPVs present a tremendous opportunity to integrate solar panels elegantly in areas that were previously impossible.”
The start-up is currently seeking £750,000 in crowdfunding investment via Crowdcube in order to scale-up its commercial operations and meet market demand.