New solar power source and storage developed

It couples thin, flexible, lighter solar sheets with energy storage to power buildings or charge vehicles off-grid.

The company behind it, Solivus, plans to cover the roofs of large industrial buildings with the solar fabric.

These include supermarket warehouses and delivery company distribution centres.

But Solivus also plans to manufacture solar units or “arcs” for home use.

The aim is to create local, renewable energy, to give people and business their own power supply and help the UK towards its target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The solar material is a carbon-based sheet, which the company describes as an “organic photovoltaic” (OPV). It’s a material that absorbs sunlight and produces energy.

The layered film can be bent into shapes or glued on to flat or curved, vertical or horizontal, surfaces – where panels could not be used or fixed on without damaging the integrity of a building.

The firm says the film is one-tenth of the weight of traditional panels in frames – 1.8kg per m2 – contains no rare earth or toxic materials, and lasts for 20 years.

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