Australian Solar Panel Coating Manufacturer Secures $5M Funding

Queensland based Brisbane Materials has received financial backing from the Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund.

The backing marks the first investment of the Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund, a $200M fund consisting of a partnership between the Australian Government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and Softbank China Venture Capital (SBCVC). The fund is managed by SXVP.

“SXVP is pleased to make the first investment from the new Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund into an exciting Brisbane QLD based materials company, commercializing revolutionary technology developed at the University of Queensland,” said Dr. Larry Marshall, Managing Director.

Developed by Dr. Michael Harvey and Prof. Paul Meredith, Brisbane Materials‘ anti-reflective coating for solar panels provides a significant efficiency enhancement, improving the cost effectiveness of all types of solar modules. The technology enables the creation of a nano-porous silicon dioxide (SiO2) film from a liquid precursor at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. The coating is chemically bonded to glass or plastic surfaces.

“With this funding, and our partnership with EVG, we’ll be able to bring this innovative Australian technology to a global customer base,” said Brisbane Materials’ co-founder and CEO, Dr. Gary H. Wiseman.

The company says its coatings have more than 2.5 years of testing in a high-suns accelerated environment; which is equivalent to more than 20 years in real world conditions.

Prior to co-founding BMT, Dr Wiseman was  the CEO of XeroCoat Inc., another supplier of anti-reflective coatings for solar and other applications. Dr Michael Harvey is  the inventor of the AR technology being commercialised by Brisbane Materials. Prof. Meredith is a University of Queensland Vice Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow and Professor of Physics. He also leads University of Queensland’s solar energy program

Brisbane Materials was formed in March last year with seed funding from UniQuest and angel investors in Silicon Valley. Additional seed funding was sourced via the “What’s your Big Idea Queensland” grant the company won in 2011.