Solar Earth Technologies (SET) was founded in July 2015 in Vancouver Canada by a group of scientists, engineers, energy and roadway experts, and entrepreneurs – each with a successful track record in their respective fields and fueled with passion and vision to make future infrastructures more sustainable and livable.
We develop critical materials, modules, and process know-how for solar roads – an emerging industry sector that paves driveways, walkways, parkways, bike paths, and highways with photovoltaic (PV) materials, turning road surfaces into a site for dependable, accessible, and affordable clean electricity production and consumption
Such PV-enabled roadways (solar roads) also makes traditional roadways more efficient, smart, and safe. For countries such as Canada with substantial infrastructure deployed in high latitude areas, solar-powered roadways offer an unique opportunity to improve the quality of road services in cold weathers
SET is developing a network of research labs to resolve interdisciplinary challenges across materials, pavement engineering, and energy technology.
At Solar Earth we are building hardened solar panels and associated systems for installation into ground mounted arrays. Solar panels that can withstand pedestrian, bicycle or automobile traffic demand a level of protection not typically found in rack-mounted solutions. The hardware and electronic requirements for these systems are also significantly more stringent than conventionally encountered. We have developed, tested and re-developed several novel solutions.
- Panels that can be glued to a concrete or asphalt substrate.
- Panels that can be installed on top of existing infrastructure without modification.
- Hybrid panels that generate both thermal and electrical energy.
- Panels that can be used for walkways or patios that include ice melting technology.
- Panels systems that are integrated with electric vehicle charging technology.
In addition to these engineered solutions to module-level solar power problems, we are aggressively pursuing cell-level research. Our “G3” program is exploring novel ways to significantly improve the energy density of solar solutions. Some of the progress we are making with this research is at a semiconductor level, and some if it comes from novel approaches to cell integration techniques.
Solar Earth is “on the road” to expanding the deployment opportunities for solar energy systems at a minimum possible cost per watt.
Products and Solutions
We have developed our core technologies into distinct applications…
In this case, the modules are typically deployed for pedestrian use, but can withstand low-velocity vehicular loads.
Roadway solutions require a more robust (and costly) encapsulation to withstand heavy loads at high speeds. Additional electrical safety precautions need to be taken to guarantee fail safe operation. We are currently deploying our modules in prototype electric vehicle charging systems in China.
Our residential systems are designed to not only generate maximum power, but also to look great. We have building-integrated solar roofing solutions, as well as patio, deck and driveway systems.
We have customized our modules for use in e-bike charging kiosks and in-motion electric vehicle charging systems.
SET Pilot Projects Gain Strong Government Support in China
China has become a world leader and major driving force in the renewable energy sector1 with billions of dollars invested in clean energy projects and sustainable energy innovation2. We are proud to acknowledge the financial endorsement of our technologies by Beijing municipal authorities in their further funding of Amber™ pilots in the next phase of its Green Villages development program and during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games – one of the most sustainable Winter Olympics in history3.
Following up on the successful implementation of phase one of the Daxing Sustainable Village project (August 2018), Beijing municipal officials have committed a further 1.35 million RMB to complete phase two in 2019. With the planned trial of Amber™ modules at the newly constructed Olympic speed-skating venue, Solar Earth is grateful for the support and technical endorsement provided by the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission and is very excited to be a part of the city’s unfolding vision for a “new energy economy”.
Solar Earth Technologies Engages BC Research Community at PCAMM 2018
The 23rd annual Pacific Centre for Advanced Materials and Microstructures (PCAMM) meeting was held on December 8th at Simon Fraser University and Solar Earth Technologies was there! This assembly offers a venue for the presentation of state-of-the-art research into material science and nanotechnology, and this year SET researchers gathered with professors, graduate students and other researchers from UBC, UBC-O, UVic and SFU to foster collaborations within the regional community.
“The research and development efforts of Solar Earth are accelerated with the knowledge and ideas gained from speakers, insightful discussions and new or deepened connections within our community”, explained SET research manager, Dr. Whitwick, who was also one of the invited presenters for the event.
SET Appoints Yong Chai To Its Board
Solar Earth Technologies is excited to announce the addition of Yong Chai to our growing board of directors. Yong is the CEO of SET China, having previously served in several leadership roles at Technicolor, Greater China where he successfully delivered innovative product and business development projects with a global scope. A trained telecommunications engineer, Yong has an excellent background in R&D, customer management, and international business operations. Yong prides himself on being a pioneer in the digital home products and services industry where he can use his skills and experience to help transform inspired ideas into down-to-earth, business realities. “We’re very happy to have Yong’s business insights and experience added to the board of our parent company”, says SET board chair, Meng Wang.
Solar Earth Technologies Receives Government of Canada Support
Solar Earth Technologies is pleased to announce that its project proposal, “Enhanced PV for High Load Applications” was approved for funding from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP). This conditional funding will help accelerate the commercialization of Solar Earth’s innovative ground-based PV modules by adding complementary skills to its Vancouver based R&D team.
“Solar Earth greatly appreciates and thanks the Government of Canada and NRC IRAP for this vital assistance,” says Managing Director, Brian Johnson.
Shanxi Energy & Traffic Investment Co. Visits Solar Earth Labs
Solar Earth Technologies was delighted to host delegates from the Shanxi Energy & Traffic Investment Co., Ltd during their recent technology review tour of North America. With prior stops in New York and San Diego, the Shanxi team toured SET’s Clean-room at SFU and met with our leadership team to discuss areas of possible collaboration. Shanxi Energy & Traffic Investment Co., Ltd. is a wholly state-owned company established by Shanxi Provincial Party Committee and Provincial Government for the purpose of promoting railway construction throughout the province. One of the ten largest companies in Shanxi Province (measured by assets), Shanxi E&T owns and operates large business units in transportation, logistics, advanced materials and renewable energy.
“We were very pleased to once again meet with our friends from Shanxi E&T to discuss our many exciting collaboration opportunities” reports SET board chair, Meng Wang.
Daniel Nanson Joins SET Board of Directors
Solar Earth Technologies is pleased to welcome Daniel Nanson to their board of directors. Dan is an experienced financial professional with over a decade of power and utilities experience. Most recently, Dan was the Head of Power & Utilities at MUFG Bank Canada, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (one of the top 5 banks in the world). Previously he was with one of Europe’s leading power companies, Centrica plc, where he was heavily involved in the financing of large scale renewable energy projects such as rent-a-roof solar and offshore wind turbines in the U.K.. Coupled with this direct industry experience, Dan brings general leadership, corporate finance, and valuable business development expertise. He continues to lead the Cliveden Advisory Group Ltd. where he advises companies looking to raise capital, scale and grow. Dan holds the Canadian CPA (CA) and the UK AMCT designations. We are extremely excited to have Dan join our team!
Solar Earth China Launches Latest Pilot Installation at Daxing District Green Village
Solar Earth (China) Technologies Ltd., (SET China) is pleased to announce completion of their latest photovoltaic solar pilot project at Daxing Green Village in Beijing. The Mayor of Daxing and 80 other Beijing municipal leaders recently visited the site where SET China demonstrated their cutting-edge, solar-electric paving technology.
The array consists of 40 square meters of ground-mounted solar panels that took the SET team just under 4 weeks to install, test and activate. The electricity generated from the project is being used to power the lights at the basketball courts adjacent to the site. This marks the completion of phase 1 of the Daxing project, with phase 2 set to incorporate integrated electric vehicle (“EV”) charging capabilities.
Watch the video below…
SET and SFU Awarded NSERC CRD Grant
Solar Earth Technologies (SET) is excited to announce that our application for NSERC’s Collaborative Research and Development Program (CRD) grant has been approved. This grant, awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), will be employed to fund a three-year research and development collaboration between SET, Simon Fraser University (SFU), and University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO). The project will bring together scientists, technicians, professors, a post-doctorial fellow, and graduate and co-op students. This R&D team will continue to build upon SET’s innovations in the area of photovoltaics for ground-based applications and the solar industry in general.
SET Tests Proof of Concept Prototype
On a long and sunny day in June 2018, our Solar Earth Technologies (SET) Vancouver team energetically installed our proof-of-concept prototype of next generation solar cell for some real-world tests. The prototype solar cell was developed at the SET Vancouver lab utilizing SET’s patent-pending photon and power management system. We see consistent, double digit improvement over conventional solar cells in total energy generation over the course of the day, peaking at 30%. We are excited about this milestone. Real-world tests of the prototype solar cell continue to provide valuable lessons that are indispensable in the development of next-generation solar cells.