Australia-Based Solar Startup to Beat Chinese Solar Panels
Australia-based SunDrive would increase the efficiency of solar panels at a comparatively cheaper cost.
SunDrive Solar is an Australia-based company, co-founded by Vince Allen in 2015. The company has set a record for the efficiency of solar cells designs to convert light into electricity. The result was analyzed by the Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH), which is a German organization.
The efficiency results and the solar market have always been dominated by Chinese solar cell makers for years. According to Zachary Holman, a professor who studies solar materials at Arizona State University, a huge revenue is required to start a new company and it isn’t always a profitable business. But still, companies like SunDrive are stepping inside the market with something new to offer.
Prominently, silver pulls the electricity out of the devices effectively but it is expensive, so there is a need for a cheaper alternative. The initial plan for setting SunDrive was to replace silver with abundant, cheap copper.
SunDrive has elevated about $7.5 million to date from Blackbird Ventures and other big-name investors. Mike Cannon-Brookes, one of Australia’s wealthiest people, has backed the startup through his Grok Ventures; so has former Suntech Power Holdings Co. chief Shi Zhengrong, sometimes called the “Sun King” for his outsized role in the solar-panel industry.
The company also received more than $2 million via a grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, a government body tasked with boosting green technology.
If the company successfully maximizes its technology’s production, it could reduce the cost of solar panels and make the industry not as much silver dependent.
They did not show 10,000 high performance cells coming off a several-hour manufacturing run.
The company would like to form a partnership with big manufacturers to save both time and effort, despite building their own solar panel business.
Shi, SunDrive’s investor mentioned that innovation is not about being associated with a big company, it’s usually about being able to use the available resources effectively.