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Blyth based business Solar Capture Technologies have transformed the Solar Tile Industry thanks to support from Innovation SuperNetwork
Solar Capture Technologies (SCT), a renewable energy company based in Blyth, Northumberland, specialise in designing, developing, and manufacturing innovative solar PV modules at their mega-watt manufacturing facility. With help from the Innovation SuperNetwork, they have been able to successfully develop a groundbreaking composite solar roof tile with many advantages over traditional glass solar panels.
“Working with the SuperNetwork has been instrumental in the success of Solar Capture Technologies. Through their support, we were able to connect with like-minded businesses in the northeast, fostering strong relationships and raising our business profile.”
Lewis Caseley, Commercial Director at Solar Capture Technologies
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Solar Capture Technologies wanted to create a more efficient way to collect solar energy, which would improve on glass solar panels by lowering cost, increasing efficiency and reducing their weight and installation times. They aimed to develop an all-in-one solution that would address the challenges of current solar energy collection methods and be manufactured in their UK facility. SCT recognised the potential benefits of using composite materials in solar PV module manufacturing, including weight reduction, increased strength, and flexibility in shaping.
Support from Innovation SuperNetwork
Thanks to funding secured through the Innovation SuperNetwork, SCT were able to conduct a feasibility study in 2020 to see if they could integrate solar cells into composites for solar roof tiles. Introductions made by ISN meant they could collaborate with the National Composite Centre on moulding tools and composite designs. The outcome of this vital testing demonstrated the viability of composite solar PV modules, as well as their expected benefits over traditional solar energy collection methods.
Solar Capture Technologies were also able to leverage Innovation SuperNetwork’s network of businesses in the North East for collaboration and received introductions to local authorities. Additionally, ISN provided training to SCT staff, enabling them to manage and operate their website internally, resulting in significant cost savings.
“The initial funding we received in 2020 paved the way for accessing subsequent funding, enabling the development and launch of our transformative solar roof tile. This innovative product is poised to revolutionise our business through volume manufacturing. We are grateful for Innovation SuperNetwork’s assistance, which has been vital to our growth and success.”
– Lewis Caseley, Commercial Director at Solar Capture Technologies
The positive outcomes of the feasibility study led SCT to secure funding through BEIS in the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund round 8 in 2021 to further develop their composite solar roof tile and get their product ready for market.
To date, SCT has successfully completed the development of their composite solar roof tile and secured their first commercial sale. Their innovative product has the potential to become the new standard in social housing, benefiting both new build and retrofit roofing schemes. The tile’s cutting-edge cell technology ensures high efficiency, while meeting all building roofing standards. The product has also achieved an A- fire rating, positioning it as a versatile building product for entire roof coverings.
Introductions made by Innovation SuperNetwork has led to Solar Capture Technologies working with several social housing associations in the region in their re-roofing retrofit programme. The reduced installation time of the solar tile is particularly advantageous for social housing associations, streamlining their projects.
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