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U of Hawai’i at Mānoa start-up advances technology to reduce solar power costs


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: January 13th, 2021

A start-up from the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) at Mānoa is developing a liquid metal coating that could reduce manufacturing costs of lighter-weight solar power mirrors.

Concentrated solar power (CSP) technology currently uses bulky and costly glass mirrors. Polymeric mirrors serve as a lighter alternative, but they are expensive to manufacture. The start-up Hawaiʻi Innovation Lab is working on a room temperature liquid metal thin-film coating and CSP polymeric mirror film they say can reduce expenditures by 80% and film cost by 50%.

The start-up is participating in the American-Made Solar Prize, a $3 million national competition funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. It has already won $50,000 and is now advancing into the semifinals.

“The team is excited to have an opportunity to shape the future of American solar through the American-Made Solar Prize Round 4,” says Arif Rahman, researcher at UH Mānoa and co-founder of Hawai’i Innovation Lab. “We’re working with an incredible group of supporters –from national labs to energy incubators, including local supporters Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaiʻi Authority — to help make our technology a reality.”

Source: UH News

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