- One of the biggest barriers to fitting more solar panels on commercial buildings is roofing with insufficient structural integrity.
- Flexible solar panels are a more viable option for buildings with this issue as they are 80 percent lighter than traditional panels. However, current installation options have hindered widespread adoption of this technology.
- OXECO, a spin-out of the University of Oxford, and Scott Bader have developed a breakthrough joint technology product that allows flexible solar panels to bond to a range of roof structures and can survive a category five hurricane.
- The new solution brings the installation time to five minutes compared to almost an hour for conventional glass-faced panels, greatly speeding up solar panel installation.
Oxford, United Kingdom, January 25, 2023 - Chemistry technology company OXECO has partnered with global manufacturer Scott Bader to launch a unique new product that addresses the installation barriers facing flexible solar panels, accelerating the growth of the industry and the race to net-zero.
The rooftops of commercial warehouses have long seemed the ideal location for solar panels, but adoption has been stubbornly slow. In the UK, there is currently 1.8GW of solar capacity on commercial rooftops. If all south-facing commercial roofs in the UK had solar panels, this would provide 400GW of solar capacity - enough energy to power 300 million homes. This suggests only 0.5 percent of commercial rooftop space is currently being utilised in the UK.
A lack of structural integrity to support the weight of traditional, glass-faced solar panels has been a major hurdle in utilising this type of roofing. However, University of Oxford spin-out, OXECO, has developed SEMPRABONDTM, a breakthrough chemical surface treatment, to enable lightweight, flexible solar panels to be used instead.
Alongside Scott Bader's Crestabond® structural adhesive, this joint technology provides a fast and effective way to bond flexible solar panels to roofing structures made from a range of materials, without the need for screws or expensive tapes – which was not previously possible. This will enable flexible solar panels to generate green electricity on structures that are currently unutilised.
By solving this issue we have removed a major barrier to the solar energy revolution and can greatly accelerate the move to net-zeroVassilis Ragoussis, CEO of OXECO
"By solving this issue we have removed a major barrier to the solar energy revolution and can greatly accelerate the move to net-zero,” said Vassilis Ragoussis, CEO of OXECO. "Flexible solar panels are 80 percent lighter than traditional panels and can conform to many different shapes. Therefore, our collaboration with Scott Bader to deliver this combination product means that flexible solar panels can now help more people and businesses harness solar energy.”
OXECO and Scott Bader’s combination technology provides a durable, high-strength bond, significantly reducing the cost and complexity of installing lightweight, flexible solar panels and improving the aesthetic appearance once installed. It has also been proven to withstand wind loads two times higher than a category five hurricane.
It’s a game changer offering a simple and effective way to bond flexible solar panels, for a variety of applications, in many of the markets Scott Bader operates in.Jonathan Stowell, Scott Bader’s Group Strategy Director
Jonathan Stowell, Scott Bader’s Group Strategy Director, added, “Scott Bader is delighted to be working with OXECO on this technology. It’s a game changer offering a simple and effective way to bond flexible solar panels, for a variety of applications, in many of the markets Scott Bader operates in.”
The partnership has received the support of Professor Chas Bountra, the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Innovation at the University of Oxford. Professor Chas Bountra commented, “This is a hugely exciting innovation based on research which originated at the University of Oxford. This partnership will help enable the widespread roll-out of flexible solar panels – an industry that will be vital for achieving a sustainable energy economy.”
OXECO’s technology was born in the University of Oxford’s Department of Chemistry and developed over more than two decades. They are leveraging this technology within product design and manufacturing for the transport and clean technology sectors.
For more information go to https://www.oxeco.co.uk/
CEW Communications for OXECO
+44 (0)7791 232834
OXECO is a chemistry technology company that designs, develops, and manufactures coatings and materials for the transport and clean technology sectors. The company’s core innovative technology controls the way that surfaces behave using cutting-edge carbene chemistry. This technology was born in the University of Oxford’s Department of Chemistry and developed over more than two decades.
About Scott Bader
Scott Bader is an employee-owned global manufacturer of advanced composites, structural adhesives and functional polymers based in the UK. Established in 1921, the company has a century of expertise in manufacturing high-quality, innovative products for a variety of markets around the world. Scott Bader currently employs 750 people across 7 manufacturing sites and 18 offices worldwide in Europe, North America, India, Italy, Japan and Australia.