The Australian solar industry is about to be shaken up with the much-anticipated release of eArche, a revolutionary new solar panel that is ultra lightweight, ultra thin and competitively-priced.
eArche was created by Dr Zhengrong Shi and his team at Australian solar company Energus.
Dr Shi, a former University of New South Wales PhD graduate, is the founder of Chinese solar company Suntech and known within the industry as the ‘Sun King’.
“eArche has unlimited potential,” Dr Shi said.
“Innovations in eArche’s manufacturing process allow it to be customised to any size and shape.”
“Innovation in material development means you get a highly durable, thin, light-weight, high performing solar panel all at a competitive cost.”
eArche is created from a composite material similar to the material used in aircraft windows, making it 80 per cent lighter than regular solar panels.
Dr Shi said the lightweight product is ideal for rooftop structures including factories and carports, which often can’t accommodate the weight or rigid shape of traditional solar panels.
The lightweight nature of the material also offers a cost-saving opportunity for transport and installation of eArche.
100 kilowatts of rooftop solar typically weighs around 8 tonnes, but 100 kilowatts of Dr Shi’s trailblazing new product will weight just 2 tonnes.
Design possibilities like customisable sizing and a suave curve option means the panels can be seamlessly written into architectural plans without the issue of clunky set dimensions.
Traditional solar panels have remained relatively unchanged in appearance in the past 40 years.
The size of the solar panels coupled with the weight and associated difficulty to transport them has creating a stigma around solar as an expensive and awkward option.
But Dr Shi hopes to open solar up to a large part of the Australian residential market that have been unable or unwilling to install conventional solar panels in the past.
Dr Shi says eArche will ‘transform the building material market’ and invited more than 50 architectural firms to the official launch on March 23.
The global solar market grew for its tenth consecutive year in 2016, due to improving technology efficiencies and price reduction.
“Solar panels reduced in cost by 30 per cent in 2016,” Dr Shi said.
“With system pricing continuing on its downward trend, this will only continue to improve the value proposition of solar out competing fossil fuel generation.”
*Sponsored by Energus