Pioneering solar panel project powering ahead at Ryton business - The Rugby Observer

Pioneering solar panel project powering ahead at Ryton business

A PIONEERING solar energy project which captures sunlight from all directions, all year round, is powering ahead at a Ryton-on-Dunsmore business.

Solar Vision Lighting Technologies is marketing a solar wrap that helps turn sun and daylight into energy – but has unique features that makes it more adaptable to the climate in the United Kingdom.

The off-grid lighting specialist’s solar wrap is a 360-degree hexagonal structure that is placed around a column and generates up to 280 watts of power – compared to the traditional flat panels that generally produce 80 to 100 watts.

The two-year-old company was awarded a Proof of Concept grant of nearly £5,000 from the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub to help source research support to develop an enhanced, more efficient version of the product.

The grant, match-funded with Solar Vision’s 60 per cent contribution, will fund a 12-week feasibility study and prototype testing at Exeter University.

Managing Director Greg Ketteridge said: “Our clients’ initial approach to photovoltaic (PV) lighting is that it doesn’t work in the winter.

“All they’ve seen are flat panels which don’t perform in the winter months because of dust, dirt, snow, leaves and bird droppings. Whereas ours is picking up the sun from all directions due to the 360 degrees wrap, as it is vertical it doesn’t suffer from the things a flat panel does.

“What we want to do is link up with a specialist in PV. Exeter University is one of the leading universities in the country that specialise in PV so we linked up with them.

“They’re going through concept issues where we’ve put our proposal forward about how we think we can develop our product and get intellectual property (IP) rights on that particular product. There’s a number of questions that we’ve posed for them which they’re now assessing and reviewing.

“With companies’ strategies for zero-carbon or off-setting carbon initiatives, particularly with developers and Local Authorities, we’re assisting them with their targets since we have a zero-carbon and sustainable product.”

Adam Plumb, Account Manager at the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub, said: “Solar Vision has come a long way in a short space of time and has big aspirations moving forward.

“The Proof of Concept grant has given them a significant helping hand in developing a product that will be fully theirs to market and sell, which if successful, will lead to business growth and more employment opportunities for people in the region.”

The Proof of Concept grant forms part of the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is delivered by Coventry University Enterprises Limited.

The Growth Hub is supported by funders including Warwickshire County Council, Coventry City Council and Warwickshire’s District and Borough Councils.


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