Greening the freight forwarding chain for solar power – pv magazine usa
Start-up too: The Australian startup claims a record silicon cell efficiency of 25.54%, and Energy Vault leaves startup status with a $ 1 billion bid.
This week, Startup Saturday, we have three companies making potentially disruptive innovations in solar and energy storage.
PVpallet rethinks solar transport
PV pallet, which recently net a million-dollar investment from Iowa-based ISA Ventures seeks to inject another layer of environmental awareness into the solar supply chain with reusable and recyclable solar panel pallets made from plastic placed discarded.
The startup seeks to address the “true cost” of a traditional wooden shipping pallet, including construction costs, labor, transportation and handling, PV module breakage rates and disposal costs.
PV pallets are made of recycled and discarded plastic. The company said its design can accommodate 80 to 90 percent of the modules currently on the market.
Pallets are reusable about 20 times, and at the end of their life cycle, they can be reused in new PV pallets. Pallets are stackable at four heights, which the company says can reduce warehouse space.
Pallets reached the full-size prototype in the first quarter of 2021 and production is expected to begin in September. Full production is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022.
Cells without money
The SunDrive in Sydney, Australia has turned the status quo upside down, develop a solar PV cell without money while pushing the world record for silicon cell efficiency to 25.54%.
Silver is a critical component of today’s solar panels, and panel manufacturing accounts for about 20% of the world’s annual silver consumption. The next generation high efficiency cells will cost three times the money of conventional panels.
SunDrive’s solution replaces the precious metal with copper, which is 100 times cheaper than silver, and abundant.
The company said it will produce panels locally in Australia as it ramps up and will enter residential solar space first.
SunDrive has attracted industry support with AU $ 3 million ($ 2.2 million) provided by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
A startup no more
Manufacturer of gravity energy storage towers Energy Vault is set go from a wide-eyed startup to a publicly traded company as Novus Capital Corp announced plans to acquire the company for more than $ 1 billion.
The combined company will be known as Energy Vault Holdings and is expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “GWHR”.
The Energy Vault product, as described in this pv magazine article, is a six-arm crane tower that lifts and stacks composite blocks with a grid-scale renewable energy powered motor. The blocks store potential energy, and when the energy needs to be discharged, the blocks are lowered.
The result is a high capacity, resilient storage application capable of meeting both short and long term storage needs. The tower has a round trip efficiency of 80-85% and a technical life of 35 years. It undergoes little or no degradation, a problem encountered in batteries.
The company said it has several customer agreements in place and revenue may start to gravitate towards its bottom line in 2022.
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