A&B Smart Materials won this year's CleanTech Challenge (CTC) with their novel cooling solution for solar panels and was awarded £20,000 to help develop and improve their technology.
According to a report published by the World Economic Forum, excessive heat can cause a reduction in the efficiency of solar panels, resulting in a decrease of approximately 0.5 percentage points for every degree Celsius increase in temperature. And solar farms worldwide are losing up to 25% of their energy generation due to overheating alone.
Backed by a team with rich backgrounds in the fields of thermal engineering, nanotechnology and smart materials, A&B Smart Materials' passive cooling technology using novel hydrogels has the potential to increase energy generation by 5%. It absorbs atmospheric water at night to be released through daytime evaporation, cooling the solar panel during operating times.
The first prototypes are undergoing testing at the University of Oxford's Begbroke Science Park. The company is also filing for a patent and drawing up plans to partner with solar farms worldwide to combine this technology.
"The £20,000 prize money will play a crucial role in advancing our venture, allowing us to further develop and test our solar cooling gel technology, ultimately bringing us closer to market. We cannot emphasise enough what an amazing experience this has been for A&B Smart Materials, and we are excited to continue our journey toward revolutionizing solar panel efficiency and making a positive impact on the environment," said Amaury van Trappen de Buggenoms and Benjamin White, founders of A&B Smart Materials.
The CleanTech Challenge is an international business pitch competition created by students, for students, who have innovative clean technology ideas. It is co-hosted by the London Business School (LBS) and University College London (UCL) with the aim of assisting students in developing their clean technology concepts into viable businesses.
"Organising the CleanTech Challenge has been an incredible opportunity to connect with the European cleantech entrepreneurship ecosystem," said Sami Walter, President of the CleanTech Challenge.
All current university students, including those pursuing undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral degrees at recognized higher education institutions worldwide, are eligible to participate in the Challenge.