A new facility in Queensland creating Australian-developed anti-reflective coatings for solar panels was opened on Monday.
Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) CEO Ivor Frischknecht opened the Brisbane Materials plant in Darra, which was made possible by $2 million in funding from the Australian Government.
“The high-performance anti-reflective coating technology produced by Brisbane Materials is expected to provide a low cost, commercially viable way to increase the efficiency of newly manufactured solar panels,” said Mr. Frischknecht
“ARENA understands the importance of investing right across the innovation chain, from research and development to commercialisation.”
Use of the coating allows 3% more light to reach the solar cell.
Based on research developed at the University of Queensland, Brisbane Materials’ patented ARC coating technology creates a high-performance inorganic anti-reflection coating from a liquid precursor at room temperature; which cuts down on the cost of production and energy expended to create the material.
The material in the coating is graded refractive index silica, chemically bonded to the glass surface for optimum durability. Several years of of laboratory and field testing have shown the coatings stand up to the extremes they will need to work in.
“The funding we have received from ARENA and our other investors has been vital to us developing a turnkey solution for integrating the coating into existing panel manufacturing operations,” said Brisbane Materials CEO Dr. Gary Wiseman; an expert in the fields of organo-silicon polymers, nano-ceramic synthesis, and ceramics processing.
“Brisbane Materials is now in the exciting position of being able to scale up operations at our new Queensland headquarters while expanding sales and marketing efforts around the world.”
Assuming 80 per cent up-time and 20 hours per day operation, the facility will be capable of coating up to 350,000 units a year.