Saudi-based petrochemical manufacturer SABIC in partnership with Solarge, a manufacturer of circular lightweight solar panels has developed lightweight, circular photovoltaic (PV) panels. This was showcased during the recent opening event of Solarge’s new production facility in Weert, Netherlands. The ceremony was attended by representatives from SABIC and Solarge, Rob Jetten, Dutch Minister for Climate & Energy, and Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy.
Speaking on the occasion, Lada Kurelec, General Manager, SABIC, “As a part of our sustainability strategy to support the energy transition, SABIC prioritizes collaboration and innovation together with industry leaders in their fields. We are proud to be a trusted partner for sustainable and inclusive growth and are pleased to work with Solarge on this important project in the development of circular solar panels. We look forward to building on this partnership and continuing our efforts in driving sustainability through collaboration and innovation on the road to carbon neutrality.”
Jan Vesseur, CEO of Solarge, said, “This new production line enables us to realize the most sustainable solar panels in a solid volume and contribute to accelerating of the energy transition in the most sustainable way possible. The collaboration with SABIC in the development of this product has been crucial for us and exemplary in its execution. ” He further informed that SABIC collaborated with Solarge to develop a low carbon footprint solar panel made from SABIC® PP (polypropylene) compounds.
As per reports, currently, many building roofs cannot sustain the weight of the current glass PV panels and the newly produced SABIC PP Compounds used in these solar panels can provide more than 50% weight reduction. Moreover, it can help in the 25% carbon footprint reduction and can be reused within their own production chain after 25 years. Due to these features, it will have a high demand for application on industrial roofs as customers looks for lighter and more energy efficient alternatives.
The initial concept for the lightweight, circular PV panels was developed and patented by SABIC and Solarge. Their collaboration developed differentiated polypropylene materials to enable the Solarge lightweight solar panel to meet performance requirements. Continuing their work with Solarge, SABIC moved ahead with the further application development and testing of the concept, installation, and supported the industrial scale up of the product for market entry.
The firm informed that SABIC® PP compounds used in PV panels will be manufactured at SABIC’s polypropylene compounding site in Genk, Belgium.However, SABIC has already started by installing 50 of these lightweight PV panels on the roof of this manufacturing facility in a pilot project, and further a full-scale roof installation will need nearly 5,000 panels.