By Cameron Chai
SABIC and VU University Amsterdam have collaborated to develop and market a solar thermal technology that will be used to control the temperature in solar energy collectors.
This invention will enable customers to avail benefits of using low cost, lightweight and highly efficient solar panels. This new solar thermal technology has been developed as a result of the increasing demand for solar energy.
VU University has developed and patented a concept that utilizes an optical switch to create a prismatic structure of thermoplastic panels that are made from Lexan polycarbonate sheet so that reflection of sunlight can take place even before the panels could get hot. Solar energy collectors use Lexan polycarbonate as a base material because of its cost efficiency and lightweight properties, thus simplifying the installation process and reducing maintenance. Even greenhouses can use this new solar thermal technology.
Professor Ronald Griessen from the physics department of VU University stated that the collaboration with SABIC will revolutionize the manufacturing process of solar collectors and other similar applications in the future. The outcome of this project according to Griessen will receive improved levels of security through the scope and experience of SABIC.
Elly Burghout, SABIC’s Application Technology Leader of Innovative Plastics, stated that the new solar thermal technology will enable SABIC to provide its customers with practical solutions and enhance the affordability and practicality of solar thermal by using engineered thermoplastics for deigning purposes.