Ukrainian start-up River Solar has developed a solar tile for building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) with a 19.5% power conversion efficiency and a power output of 45 W.
“We produced the first series entirely in Ukraine and a second series was produced by Chinese manufacturers,” the company's CFO, Ilia Kotov, told pv magazine. “But we continue negotiations with manufacturers in Ukraine and are ready to cooperate with European manufacturers.”
The product carries a 25-year performance guarantee, measures 560 x 560 mm, and weighs 3.9 kg. It is based on nine monocrystalline cells with five-busbar (5BB) technology and is covered by 4 mm of tempered glass. Its open circuit voltage is 5.63 V and the short-circuit current is 10.12 A. “A square meter of solar tiles costs $250 in retail before serial production and cost optimization reductions,” Kotov explained. “The power of the tiles per square meter is 180 watts, which equals the cost of $1.38/W.”
Kotov also stated that the company's strategic market is Europe, including countries that are now experiencing a boom in renewable energy for private households such as Poland and Finland. “We are also preparing to enter the US market in cooperation with a local panel manufacturer,” he added.
A first pilot project for self-consumption was built in Ukraine for an outpatient clinic in Tishki village. Solar tiles with a total capacity of 6 kW were deployed, which the company claims enable energy cost savings of around 60%. “Now we are monitoring the work of the solar station online,” Kotov said.
The company is based in Mykolaiv, in the homonymous administrative region in southern Ukraine, and is currently planning to develop other PV products, including solutions for commercial buildings based on large PV modules and leak-proof sunshade systems.
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