Emirates Insolaire completes first 3 colored solar panel projects, unveils future plans

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Emirates Insolaire, a joint venture established in November 2013 by Dubai Investments PJSC and SwissINSO Holding Inc., produces colored glass using its Kromatix technology, for use on both PV and solar thermal modules.

It recently completed a 12 kWp colored solar panel project – the first of its kind, says the company – on the façade of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology’s (EPFL’s) ELL building in Lausanne, Switzerland. A total of AED 850,000 (around US$231,421) was invested by power company, Romande Energie, Acomet, the EPFL and Emirates Insolaire. The panels are said to be capable of generating enough electricty annually to meet the energy needs of two four-person families.

In addition to the Lausanne system, Emirates Insolaire has completed two other installations: a 24 kWp BIPV system in Basel, Switzerland, with Solvatec; and a solar thermal project for DOMA Solartechnik GmbH’s headquarters in Satteins, Austria.

Commenting on the Basel project, Rafic Hanbali, Managing Partner of Emirates Insolaire tells pv magazine, "It is installed on the roof and some facades of a small building occupying only 80m2 of ground surface. The same installed power would have required, if installed only on the ground or on a roof, an area 3 to 4 times larger than 80m2. This is, in addition to aesthetics, [demonstrates] the considerable advantage of our technology for the cities, which cannot offer enough ground and roof areas for their energy needs."

Future plans

Having begun commercial-scale production of its colored glass just this year, Hanbali says a capacity ramp up is on the cards. Currently, Emirates Insolaire produces 200 MW in Europe via OEM contracts. In 2015, he anticipates sales for over 50,000 square meters of the colored glass. "Since sales will be a certain mix of ready Kromatix panels and Kromatix solar glass alone, the expected turnover is around 2.5M dollars till the end of 2015," he says.

Hanbali says a number of new projects totaling several MWs are in the pipeline in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Europe, the U.S. and Brazil. However, he says, "We do not wish to be more specific at this stage."

Enquires, meanwhile, for Emirates Insolaire’s Kromatix technology are said to be coming from a number of Arabic countries, Europe, Asia, the U.S. and Brazil. Hanbali adds there are plans to enter a number of new markets, including in the GCC countries, Europe, the U.S., Singapore, South Korea and South America.

Responding to the BIPV market share Emirates Insolaire is aiming to capture, Hanbali concludes, "BIPV is already the fastest growing sector within solar installations, and this can only accelerate for the obvious reason of producing energy on the same location where it is consumed.

"With that in mind, we believe that our technology will become the norm and the standard because we cannot imagine our cities dressed only in black. Therefore we are confident that our market share will go from a few percent in 2016 to an important part of the total BIPV installations in the world within 3 to 4 years."