Australian manufacturer unveils solar tile with 19.3% efficiency


From pv magazine Australia

Volt Solar Tile, a Leeson Group subsidiary, says its Australian-designed building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) roof tile has the highest wattage of any solar tile on the global market, with a maximum power output of 115 W and a solar efficiency of up to 19.3%.

Peter Leeson, managing director of Leeson Group and the director of Volt Solar Tile, said the Volt Planum and Lodge mono PERC solar tiles are the first in the world that can generate the same amount of energy as a standard PV panel.

“It’s the highest efficiency solar tile in the world to date,” he said. “We’ve reached 19.3% efficiency. “With Volt, we’ve made solar tiles affordable and accessible for homeowners who want clean and affordable energy to power their homes.”

Leeson said Volt has designed the “highest wattage, highest quality, and lowest cost solar tile available … Volt solar tiles are a quarter the cost of its competitors’ integrated solar roofs and half the cost of other solar tiles systems … a 5 kW Volt system costs AUD 12,000 ($7,510) fully installed after STC (small-scale technology certificate) rebates. We’re coming close to or meeting the price of your premium quality solar power systems but it’s obviously a lot more than your standard systems.”

The Volt Solar Tile range includes the 115 W Planum module, which has an 18.8% solar efficiency and the 105 W Lodge solar tile with 19.3% efficiency. Both tiles benefit from metal wrap-through (MWT) cell technology and a busbar-free design, which decreases the shading area by up to 3%.

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The tiles, which weigh in at 10 kg, feature a black aluminum frame, matte-black glass, and a built-in cable containment system to eliminate the need for live cables. The solar tiles are designed to tie in with adjacent roof tiles and feature their own drainage channels and gutters.

They are backed with a 30-year performance warranty and 15-year product warranty. They have already secured TUV certification and Volt said it is waiting on certification from the Clean Energy Council (CEC) for its approved product list. Leeson said the plan is to eventually move production from China to Australia.

“By late 2023 we’re hoping to have assembly set up and operating here in Australia,” he said. “From there, we will be looking at setting up an actual manufacturing plant here. The aim is to be financially closing on a manufacturing plant in 2024 and at the end of 2024, start of 2025 actually be making the solar modules here.”

The Volt solar tiles will be officially launched at the All-Energy Australia event in Melbourne next week, but Leeson said they are already available in Australia, with the first installations expected to commence in the coming weeks.

Leeson said that distribution agreements will open opportunities for the solar tiles to be sold in 85 countries, including Spain, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. These countries will provide Volt with an initial potential market of 250 MW per year, said Leeson.

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