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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    Brisbane Materials Technology Pty Ltd

    Location

    Queensland

    ARENA Program

    Australian Solar Institute

  • Start Date

    October 2012

    Status

    Past

  • Project Partners
    None
    This solar PV project was completed on 27 October 2015.

Summary

This project involved the construction and operation of a pilot-scale manufacturing facility for an innovative anti-reflection (AR) coating that can be used on solar panels.

Need

Improved anti-reflective coatings on solar panels could increase the amount of energy converted by the panels from sunlight.

By minimising reflective losses from (or trapping more light within) solar panels, their performance can be increased while costs are lowered.

Project innovation

This project involved the construction and operation of a pilot-scale manufacturing facility for an innovative anti-reflection (AR) coating that can be used on solar panels.

The facility, based in Darra, was opened for operation on 28 January 2014.

The production facility is capable of coating both small and large components such as lenses and protective glass cover plates for solar panels with a maximum output of 350,000 units each year (assuming the facility is operational 80% of the time and runs 20 hours each day).

The production process involves a liquid solution containing silicon dioxide being placed on the glass and, after being chemically transformed to a solid at room temperature, forming an ultra-thin layer of porous glass that reduces reflection by 75%.

The ability to form this porous glass layer at room temperature is the key to keeping the cost of the technology low. Other AR coatings require temperatures of around 400-600 degrees Celsius to coat and bond the coating to a solid material, incurring significant heating costs.

The project team comprised world class experts in all areas needed to develop commercially relevant solar forecasting. They collaboratively collected, curated and analysed high-quality field data from sites that spanned a diverse range of environmental conditions.

The industry partners involved represented a cross section of the sectors interested in solar energy forecasting and brought critical understanding of commercial operating requirements, access to unique operational data, and intimate knowledge of multiple Australian market sectors.

Benefit

Several years of laboratory and field testing have shown the improved coatings have industry-leading AR performance and durability, with clear potential to reduce solar energy system costs at all scales across a range of technologies.

Last updated
19 November 2020
Last updated 19 November 2020
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