|▲ Carbon Free / CEO Jaeheon Moon|
Carbon Neutrality and eco-friendly renewable energy is received by world's leaders and companies no longer an option but a must for us and for the earth. Related technologies and systems as well as guidances and standards are being introduced from experts and governments in many countries in various sectors for eco-friendly alternatives such as wind, ocean and solar powers. Recent trend, however, tells that BIPV that stands for Building Integrated Photovoltaics is rising fast in the sector of solar energy. BIPV are photovoltaic materials that are used to replace conventional building materials in parts of the building envelope such as the roof, skylights, or facades.
South Korean government introduced a regulation in 2020 that a public building with more than 1000m2 size must supply certain level of power from renewable energy and it must be 30% this year. The affected size of buildings will also be reduced to 500m2 from 2025. Buildings that follow this regulation will get benefit of up to 15% tax reduction. Construction companies are looking for efficient ways to meet this standard and BIPV is rising as an ideal option to choose.
Carbon Free is a South Korean eco-friendly energy solutions company famous for its innovative Shingled BIPV. If the existing solar modules depended on series connection between cell to cell which proved to be reducing generation efficiency, Carbon Free's Shingled BIPV divided cells and used ECA to remove this drawback.
"Solar panels have these parts called bussbars. They are white lines seen like go board. The shades from these bussbars is one of the causes that drop power efficiency and they also don't look good. So we removed these bussbars to solve the efficiency and esthetic issues by introducing innovative Shingled BIPV" explains Jaeheon Moon, CEO of Carbon Free.
Shingled BIPV divides a rectangular module into horizontal 5 and then vertical 5 to be welded and connect them in series. It is width-adjustable, wall install-friendly, and increases per unit area efficiency by 20%. According to Moon, Carbon Free is the sole company that has shingle technology in South Korea and only two companies in the US can produce in the world. The Korea Institute of Industrial Technology developed shingle technology and registered a patent through a roundabout way of US company.
Tests show that Carbon Free's Shingled BIPV generated highest power per unit area by 207W/m2 based on 60 cells.
Global BIPV market was $110 million in 2020 and is estimated to be $360 million by 2026. In South Korea, the market is growing by yearly 18% with sales of around 160 billion won ($130 million) in 2021 and 510 billion won is expected in 2027. South Korean government goals to expand supply of BIPV by 14.5% by 2030 with POSCO taking the lead of the move. POSCO is in partnership with Carbon Free at the moment.
Taking the momentum, Carbon Free is pushing forward ESS-related projects in link with Plasma Science, Sunoo ENC and Sejong International for design, construction, engineering, smart grid, cell processing and module and BIPV production. More specifically, the projects involve Designable BIPV at a 10MW manufacturing facility, string making device, solar simulator, laminator and other analysis devices. They are planning to mass produce at 100MW facilities from 2023 and to stable the supply both in domestic and overseas markets from 2024.
Meanwhile, Carbon Free is supplying products to a Hyundai Mobis 26,446 square factory from March this year and other factories including Suwon Urban Development Corporation.
"Market demand for BIPV is huge and it will expand explosively considering government policies and budgets for eco-friendly energy supply. Carbon Free has unique and innovative BIPV technology and products and production facilities will be fully in operation by the time government regulation is fully legalized in 5 years. It is our goal to grow Carbon Free as a leader in the global market" says Moon. <PowerKorea>
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