Technology delivers high-performing coating for solar panels

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has opened a new facility in Queensland, which will use landmark technology to produce an anti-reflection coating for all types of solar panels.

Through ARENA initiatives, the Federal Government has committed more than
$2 million to Brisbane Materials – a supplier of anti-reflective and anti-soiling coatings for solar and other applications – to develop the solar coating technology. According to ARENA, the technology has the potential to increase the output and efficiency of renewable energy in Australia and overseas.

ARENA chief executive officer Ivor Frischknecht officially opened the facility in late January and said it is one of many projects the independent agency is investing in to help drive efficient and affordable renewable energy solutions.

“The high-performance anti-reflective coating technology produced by Brisbane Materials is expected to provide a low cost, commercially viable way to increase the efficiency of newly manufactured solar panels,” he said.

“ARENA understands the importance of investing right across the innovation chain, from research and development to commercialisation. This technology has evolved from a university laboratory to pilot scale production and is based on landmark research developed at the University of Queensland.”

Brisbane Materials chief executive officer Gary Wiseman said the new pilot-scale facility in Darra, Queensland, would allow the company to further advance the commercialisation of its technology.

“The funding we have received from ARENA and our other investors has been vital to us developing a turnkey solution for integrating the coating into existing panel manufacturing operations,” Mr Wiseman said.

“Brisbane Materials is now in the exciting position of being able to scale up operations at our new Queensland headquarters while expanding sales and marketing efforts around the world.”

Mr Frischknecht described the opening of the facility as a significant milestone for renewable energy in Australia.

“The opening of the Brisbane Materials pilot-scale plant demonstrates what can be achieved when industry, universities and government work together to progress forward-looking, exportable processes and products,” he said.

“The Australian Government’s support of this project through ARENA is encouraging Australian discovery and providing the opportunity to expand Australia’s export base in efficient, cost effective renewables.”