Japan’s Eco Marine Power (EMP) has begun cooperating with compatriot F-WAVE to jointly develop integrated solar PV solutions for shipping. These solar power solutions will utilize F-WAVE’s flexible, shatterproof photovoltaic technology combined with EMP’s extensive experience in developing solar power systems for ships.
F-WAVE’s flexible solar cells utilize the unique series connection through openings formed in the film structure that allow for a wireless connection to the electrodes. This tandem construction also allows the flexible solar cells to absorb a broad solar spectrum.
In addition, the cells demonstrate high performance in hot climates due in part to the annealing effect, a heat treatment process that alters the microstructure of a material to change its mechanical or electrical properties, as well as increasing system efficiency compared to the decrease that typically occurs with crystalline cells.
In addition to developing integrated solar solutions for marine and offshore applications, EMP will promote F-WAVE’s products globally so that they can be incorporated into new construction projects.
Greg Atkinson, EMP’s technical director, commented that over the past five years his company had studied solar solutions, but that many of the PV products it had looked at were not suitable for use in an adverse marine environment for an extended period.
“F-WAVE’s PV technology has a unique, patented structure that allows the solar panels to be robust, truly marine and flexible enough to be used in a variety of ways, from mounting on decks to mounting horizontally on our EnergySail and on the ship’s superstructure. We also believe that the use of this technology will reduce installation costs and provide a cost-effective, long-term, zero-emission power source for ships,” said Atkinson.
In solar-related news from Japan, Ricoh has just provided details of a new solar cell it has developed that it claims achieves 20% higher peak power output than current products.
The cell can operate at both sub-zero and higher temperatures and can generate electricity from light in a room or less.