+44 (0)24 7671 8970
More publications     •     Advertise with us     •     Contact us
News Article

Enfoil and imec produces thin, flexible solar panels


Enfoil, a new Hasselt University and imec spin-off, produces thin, flexible solar panels

Hasselt University and imec have announced Enfoil, a new spin-off that offers pliable, extremely robust solar panels of only a few millimeters thick, and perfectly integrable on various surfaces. The solar panels are the result of years of scientific research. Initial talks between EnFoil and industry to produce the solar panels and integrate them onto the roofs of trucks are ongoing.

Solar energy is crucial in the context of energy transition. The standard silicon solar panels found on rooftops already play an important role but cannot be placed on every surface due to their weight or shape. For years, UHasselt and imec have been investigating new types of solar cells that are easier and cheaper to integrate into many more settings than just roofs. "With Enfoil, the new spin-off of UHasselt and imec, we are now taking a very big step," says Dominique Coster, CEO of EnFoil. EnFoil stands for Energy Enabling Foil.

Until now, to integrate solar cells on surfaces of trucks, buildings or tents, consumers could only buy standard, typically flat products of a pre-defined size, and handle the integration themselves. "This mainly limited the technology to exclusive construction projects, or as an expensive opt-ins for cars. With Enfoil, we aim to changing this," says Marc Meuris, CTO of EnFoil. "We intend to make custom solar foils in any size and shape at large scale (“mass-customization”). The solar foils will then directly be installed or further integrated into the products of our customers. The production will be done locally and we will guarantee the feasibility and integration of the final products."

More sustainable and reliable

EnFoil combines technologies and processes that are patented and developed within UHasselt and imec. The thin-film solar cells are based on CIGS technology, made from copper-indium-gallium and selenium. "This technology offers light weight, flexibility and impact resistance which is crucial for many new applications," says prof. Bart Vermang of imo-imomec, imec's associate lab at UHasselt. “And the solar cells achieve almost the same efficiency as standard panels".

Ready for production

EnFoil has ongoing discussions with the industry to bring its solar foil to market. "A wide array of applications will be possible, such as integrating the solar cells on swimming pool covers or roof tiles. Currently, we mostly focus on the logistics sector, aiming to integrate our materials on roofs and sidewalls of trucks to power their sensors and track & trace systems. It would save the battery, and under abundant sunlight, the battery could even be charged," says Marc Meuris, CTO of EnFoil.

ERC grant

The project has already received support from the European Research Council through an ERC Proof of Concept. This grant, worth 150,000 euros, aims to bring new technologies to the market. With this, UHasselt will recruit a researcher who will continue to work with EnFoil on product development. "The ERC jury includes several industrial experts. We therefore see this grant as great recognition and a sign that the industry believes in our product and sees the potential to bring it to the market," says prof Bart Vermang.

Enfoil and imec produces thin, flexible solar panels
Voltalia selected to build a 108-megawatt solar farm
Octopus Energy to unleash $20bn of investment in offshore wind by 2030
Meyer Burger Announces Solar Cell Production Facility in Colorado
Keiyo Gas invests in X-ELIO’s Sodegaura PV Plant
ABB supports Japan’s growing biomass power market with ninth automation order
ScottishPower Renewables confirms offshore wind contract for East Anglia THREE
Solar energy demand could rise by 40% in 2023
Intersect Power Secures an Up to $800 Million Revolving Credit Facility
Perovskite solar cells achieve record efficiency
Maxeon Solar Technologies Releases 2022 Sustainability Report
Solar cell race car sponsorship sees Seaward power ahead
Steady Energy raises 2 million euros to decarbonise residential heating with small modular nuclear reactors
Maxeon Solar Technologies Holds Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Expanded and Renovated Manufacturing Plant in Mexicali
Acquisition of 50MW North Yorkshire solar project
Midsummer builds solar roof for textile factory in Bangladesh
Launch of REC@NUS Corporate R&D Laboratory for Next Generation Photovoltaics in Singapore
Maxeon Solar Technologies and Samsung Join Forces on Smart Home Energy Management Solutions
Significant Growth for Geo Green Power as Demand for Renewable Energy Soars
Lightsource bp inaugurates its new headquarters in Spain
VARTA launches gigafactory for energy storage systems
Relay innovation enhances solar PV inverter performance
ABB estimates UK offshore wind power capacity must increase by 265% to meet 2030 goal
Flying high: Octopus Energy and RES to build new German wind farm on disused US air station
OceansLab announce first Official Cleantech Partners
New trial opens the door to low carbon heating
ENERTRAG Operation takes over operations management of 20 MW large-scale photovoltaic project
Sunmaxx decarbonizes automobile production site with PVT modules
TrinaTracker signs 510MW solar tracker deal for Uzbekistan solar projects
Q ENERGY sells 76 MW solar portfolio in Spain
SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES Introduces New Coating Machine for Edge Passivation
raicoon's unique solar performance guarantee accelerating the energy transition, backed by Munich Re Group

Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the Solar + Power Magazine, the Solar + Power Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.

Please subscribe me to:


You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in: