skip to primary navigationskip to content

Shining a light on Polysolar

last modified Aug 15, 2017 09:55 AM
Generating power through sustainable energy sourcing
Shining a light on Polysolar

Polysolar bike shelters at the recently opened Cambridge North Station

Polysolar’s building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) technology has recently been integrated into a cycle parking shelter at Cambridge North Station.

Polysolar, based at ideaSpace West, recently supplied and commissioned an integrated solar photovoltaic glazed roofing system for a bicycle shelter at the new Cambridge North railway station interchange.

 The substantial covered cycle shelter uses 196 high performing, 250 Watt solar PV glazing panels in the roof of the shelter, which is estimated to generate some 10% of the station’s power requirements or 50 MWh of electricity per year.

“The incorporation of Polysolar’s BIPV glazing in the new station shows how the county council and network rail are proactively adopting new innovative environmental technologies. It’s a shame that the railway station connects with an old dirty technology bus route rather than the east west railway line, that would have much more effectively linked the region and reduced our carbon use.”  Hamish Watson, CEO Polysolar.

The new rail station is just another of the growing number of innovative structures using Polysolar BIPV glass. At Canary Wharf, a new bus shelter incorporates the company’s unique transparent PV panels. This bus stop uses the power for lighting, advertising and signage in the shelter and feeds into the rest of the estate. It is expected to generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of the average London apartment. As the first-of-its-kind system it has earned Polysolar a finalist place for Technological Innovation of this Year’s London Construction Awards.


Current projects

Polysolar is currently working alongside major construction companies at the Shire Hall redevelopment in Gloucester, to incorporate its BIPV glazing into the façade of the building. The initial phase of the project is scheduled for completion in late 2017, will generate up to 13,000 kWh of clean electricity per year, saving up to 6 tonnes CO2 per year. Polysolar are also in the final planning stages of installing a power generating transport entrance hub at Bournemouth University. This installation is expected to generate up to 18,000 kWh of electricity per year, and incorporates 256 transparent PV glass panels in the shelter roof.

The company aims to become the world’s leading supplier of PV glass in the rapidly growing building integrated photovoltaics construction sector. The company already operates in locations ranging from South America to the Middle East and on to Australia. 

Currently conventional solar panels are often added to buildings as an afterthought, Polysolar has designed its photovoltaic modules to be aesthetically pleasing so they can be integrated into the building envelope without being detrimental to the look. Modern high-rise buildings also have a much larger area on the windows, facades and balconies, than they do on roofs (which often house structures for air conditioning, electricals etc.), and so installing into the fabric of the building is highly advantageous.

BIPV is also a relatively simple way to improve a building’s energy efficiency – the tint to the panels reduces the heat gain and with it the need for air conditioning, whilst the power generation reduces the direct CO2 emissions – on average, Polysolar panels save 30 kg CO2 per year. All of these factors help reduce the need for fossil fuels for lighting, heating, and cooling, thereby creating sustainable and low-carbon built environments.


A brief history of Polysolar

Polysolar is an award-winning company established in 2007 by CEO Hamish Watson developing next generation Photovoltaics based on direct printing of organic polymer based photovoltaics on glass. The company has been awarded a series of Innovate UK grants in collaboration with partners Pilkington, Solvay and Merck as well as working closely with many universities and CPI to develop its next generation ‘Power Windows’ – the world’s largest transparent OPV cell.

 In parallel Polysolar developed, launched and certified a range of thin-film amorphous silicon transparent solar glazing panels and more recently a range of colourless high performance transparent glazing panels based on micromorph and cadmium telluride PV technologies. Technical details on the product and technologies can be found here. The company also designs and supplies a range of bespoke structures, mounting systems and electrical components.

RSS Feed Latest news

LESSONS FROM A FOUNDER: Taking Your Technology to Market with Scott White from PragmatIC

Mar 14, 2019

Scott White, ideaSpace alumni and serial entrepreneur is CEO of PragmatIC. PragmatIC produces sheets of flexible integrated circuits (FlexICs), extending the reach of electronics into markets unfeasible for silicon for reasons of form factor and/or cost. Printed electronics is one of the world’s fastest growing technologies, representing enormous potential in interconnected devices. In recognition of British Science Week, we spoke to Scott about the company’s journey from a technology-based concept to the production of commercial products, and asked his advice about taking a new technology to market.

LESSONS FROM A FOUNDER: Basics of Building a Business - IP with Christian Bunke

Feb 28, 2019

With the next B3 event coming up in the next few weeks, we thought we’d take a look back at some previous B3s and learn more about what it takes to build a business. But first – a bit about B3. Our Basics of Building a Business event, or B3, is hosted by a Founder who has successfully scaled their business. They invite the three people who proved vital in helping them along the way to share what they did, how they did it and so much more on what you need to do to go from start up to scale up. Late last year Adam Durant, CEO of Satavia and alumni of ideaSpace, was our guest founder for the evening and invited along Christian Bunke of Basck - an IP Firm focused on working with startups. Here’s what he had to say…

Spotlight on Mursla

Feb 03, 2019

Cancer is one of the most challenging global issues an entrepreneur could choose to tackle. But Pierre Arsène and Victor Serdio are doing just that with their company Mursla. Based at ideaSpace West, Mursla is developing a breakthrough technology for early cancer detection using liquid biopsies, offering a less invasive and more responsive approach to diagnosis, treatment and cure. To mark World Cancer Day on the 4th February, we asked Pierre to explain more about Mursla and the bold ideas and enthusiasm driving this bright company.

LESSONS FROM A FOUNDER: What's Your 2019 Startup Goal?

Jan 30, 2019

For many of us, a new year often starts with an optimistic resolution to change – join the gym, write a book, travel perhaps. But if you’re running a startup, January is a great time to assess your company’s development and set fresh goals for the coming year. We asked four founders at ideaSpace to reflect on progress and share their area of focus for 2019.

GeoSpock Lands £10 Million in Additional Funding 

Jan 09, 2019

ideaSpace alumni and extreme data specialists, GeoSpock, have secured an extra  £10 million in funding. The latest round was led by Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) jointly with Parkwalk Advisors and Japanese firms Global Brain and 31Ventures. Japanese data tech company KDDI Supership joined as a strategic investor. Investment was also secured from existing investor, Jonathan Milner.

View all news