New Solar Energy Optics Technology Transforms Solar Industry Economics
Finnish technology company ICS has developed a unique technology platform and a film solution providing a 5-10% increase in energy output for conventional solar modules – and even higher gains for more advanced applications.
The Solar Energy Optics (“SEO”) film solution developed by ICS is one of the key outcomes from comprehensive industrial research and development around light guide technology.
“We have found a way to capture and very precisely redirect light beams,” explains Kari Rinko, CTO at ICS. “Our SEO film technology is based on embedded cavity optics, which is not exposed to external influences or contamination and therefore lasts as long as the solar panel itself. The SEO film is as effective as if the optics would be mounted on the whole surface of the solar panel.”
The SEO film technology has a comprehensive patent portfolio and it has proven to be more effective than any previously introduced and tested light capturing methodology.
“We use an ultra-thin film produced in a cost-efficient roll-to-roll process” Rinko says. “Thus, our technology is truly scalable and ready for seamless industrial adoption on a global scale. This unique technology platform determines and enables the new sustainable energy goals for the whole photovoltaic industry.”
Transforming solar energy economics
The increased power output from the solar panels transforms the underlying economics for a solar park for the entire lifetime of the underlying panels.
“The SEO film solution enhances the amount of light that is led into the solar cells,” Rinko says. “The solar panels will get the immediate benefit, since more sunlight contributes to a more powerful solar panel.”
The SEO solution has been tested by independent third parties like the Fraunhofer ISE. Their tests concur with ICS' own experiments confirming a boost in the range of 5 - 10 percent for conventional solar modules.
“One distinct feature of the SEO film solution is that the film layer is applied only on the surrounding rims, either onto the top or the bottom glass,” Rinko says. “Since it does not cover the entire surface of the solar cells, it offers economic benefits given the saving in material costs.
Rinko points out that the SEO technology focuses on controlling and redirecting more sunlight into the solar cells - not on the structure of the mono- and poly-crystalline silicon cells themselves.
“At the same time, and adding to the core optical technology, we have developed an economical way to produce the film and to apply it on the solar panels in a seamless fashion,” he says. “Therefore, we can present a truly compelling combination of state-of-the-art technology and solid production method.”
Exceptional track record
ICS' technology platform is based on internal light capture optics that utilises optical micro-nanopatterns embedded inside of the layer or coating.
“We are developing the technology further to enhance the energy boost and value creation potential of the whole platform, with subsequent generations for all types of solar panels and thin films,” Rinko says. “The SEO film solution comprises multiple benefits, such as a transparent and black reflector with 80% reflectance and 30% energy gain in transparent and translucent solar panels. It is also applicable for flexible thin film solar panels with significant energy gain.”
ICS' priority right now is to launch the initial production of the SEO film and to open commercial doors at leading global industrial parties who are capturing the significant value creation potential of the SEO technology.
“Our team is an expert organisation with an exceptional track record of working with industry and technology leaders such as Amazon, Apple, Nokia, Ericsson and many others,” Rinko says. “In the same way, the key to success of our proven SEO technology will be working with global leaders in the solar industry. Now we are ready to move to the next stage on our exciting journey.”
Most recently ICS has been in the news following a highly successful equity capital raising transaction, explains Leo Hatjasalo, CEO. "As we confirmed the overall development plan for ICS in early May, we decided to enhance the capital base of our company to ensure appropriate financial flexibility for the next steps in our journey. We are very pleased with the exemplary support of our shareholders - and delighted to see some new investors joining ICS at a very exciting time. The overall economic picture may well look stormy for many parties because of the Covid-19 challenges - we do, however, expect ‘smooth sailing' for ICS!”