EU grants €10.6 million to HIPERION project
Hybrid Photovoltaics for Efficiency Record using Integrated Optical technology (HIPERION) has been awarded €10.6 million in funding by European Union. This grant will aid in establishing a pilot assembly line to bring breakthrough photovoltaic technology, designed by Swiss startup Insolight, closer to market. HIPERION is a 16-member consortium of research organisations and leading industry partners coordinated by Swiss centre for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM).
The technology, developed by Insolight tested under Concentrator Standard Test Conditions (CSTC) in the pre-production phase, achieves 29% efficiency, which is well above the 18 - 20% efficiency levels of standard photovoltaic (PV) panels.
The company’s system uses a planar optical micro-tracking process that concentrates sunlight on multi-junction solar cells mounted on top of a conventional silicon back plane. Insolight’s solar panels are highly efficient under direct sunlight and can harvest energy under cloudy conditions as well, which is not the case for standard concentration systems.
Insolight has proven the effectiveness of its technology through extensive outdoor trials and at pilot installations. Its panels can be installed on standard rooftop or ground-mounted racks, or as an overlay on other solar panels.
HIPERION aims to scale up the production of Insolight’s technology by showing solar panel manufacturers how they can adapt their existing production lines. “In addition to developing a pilot assembly line, we will also further demonstrate the performance and reliability of our innovation through qualification tests and several commercial pilot sites across Europe,” says Laurent Coulot, CEO of Insolight.
Insolight’s innovative design sharply reduces solar power generation costs by significantly boosting efficiency, as it collects 50% more energy per square meter than traditional products. Combining this technology with the back-end manufacturing solutions that will be developed under the HIPERION project will give European PV manufacturers an edge over their mainstream competitors, putting them in a position to increase their share of the growing PV market.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 857775.