Today’s entry from Greenbang’s special report on UK Clean Tech Start-up businesses is about Quantasol Ltd, just one of the many companies found in the report.
- Founder/Chief Executive: Kevin Arthur
- Founding date: July 2006
- Number of employees: 4
- Turnover: pre-revenue
- Website: www.quantasol.com
- Investment: £1.35 million seed capital
Quantasol designs solar cells for use in concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) systems, which use lenses and mirrors to concentrate the sun’s energy by 500 times or more onto very small pieces of semiconductor material. The cells can achieve much higher efficiencies than have previously been possible with traditional flat-plate or thin-film photovoltaic.
The company was incubated by Imperial Innovations to develop the solar cell technology (invented by Emeritus Professor Keith Barnham) and recently hit the necessary milestones with its latest cells to trigger the second part of its seed investment, netting the company £500,000.
“The leadership of the clean tech revolution will be in the hands of businesses, not governments who, with a few notable exceptions, seem incapable of moving quickly enough.” Quantasol CEO Kevin Arthur
The Greenbang Barometer
The price of solar energy is falling and may reach parity with fossil fuel before too long; at the same time, there’s a clear potential for businesses to adopt solar power to cut their carbon footprint while increasing energy security and lowering operating costs.
Quantasol’s solar cells could offer high-energy harvesting potential. They are easily installed at the point of demand, making them an appealing prospect for boosting clean power with zero emissions.
The company is talking a good game. Although Quantasol’s cells use gallium arsenide and other materials that are a bit on the expensive side, the company is aiming to get more than 40 percent efficiency from them, compared to the under 20 percent that silicon and thin cells stump up.
The company is already recording efficiency greater than 27 percent and is confident of beating that number – if and when it does, the solar industry will be in for a shakeup.