5B will design and demonstrate a high volume, scalable and predominantly automated solar PV manufacturing, assembly and deployment process line of 5B Maverick technology.
To meet the global emissions reduction goal of net zero by 2050 or sooner, an estimated 80 TW of deployed solar PV will be required, around 300 times more than the current installed PV capacity.
Achieving this in the Australian market will require a significant reduction in the cost of solar projects to drive increased project value and improved competitiveness. Innovation is required across industry practices, policy and regulation to remove the barriers to renewable energy uptake, and to establish the skills, capacity and knowledge required to deliver solar PV at scale. Furthermore, to build GW scale projects it will be essential to deploy solar PV more safely, at greater speed, and more cost effectively.
Australian industry must contribute innovative manufacturing and assembly, technology, logistics and deployment solutions into the solar energy sector to respond to this demand.
Launched in 2017, the 5B Maverick is a modular, prefabricated structure that is built and pre-wired in a factory and then can be deployed rapidly and safely on the field. The project centres around the automation of two core components of 5B’s business:
- Assembly – Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Line (AMPL): Re-designing the 5B Maverick to be optimised for automated assembly, component cost reduction, and deployment speed using a ‘Design For Manufacture’ methodology.
- Deployment – GPS Guided Deployment (GGD): Automation of tasks using robotics, related to 5B Maverick solar farm deployment planning, minimising site mark out preparation work.
Artificial intelligence-enabled solar installation represents a major advance in solar energy technology, making it faster, lower cost, more efficient and safer to construct new solar farms.
5B aims to reduce the total capital cost of delivering a complete solar farm from AUD$0.88/W to AUD$0.56/W by the end of the project, towards a target of AUD$0.29/W by 2030.
Deployment of the 5B Maverick will be supported through a network of Component, Assembly, Logistics, Deployment and Operations & Maintenance (O&M) partners. These 5B Ecosystem partners receive extensive technical training and ongoing support offering cost optimisation, continuous improvement, and innovation. The Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Line, and GPS Guided Deployment will deliver consistent improvements to design, ease of handling, accelerated deployment, increased power density and emissions reductions to support business growth across this 5B Ecosystem. The project will also create jobs in Australia, both in metro and regional areas.
The gift of a solar powered car at just eight years of age set 5B’s Nicole Kuepper-Russell on a pathway that is transforming the way the world produces energy.
Australian solar manufacturer 5B is set to scale up delivery of their innovative low cost solar product, the 5B Maverick, with the help of a $14 million grant from ARENA.