Solbian is an Italian company manufacturing innovative solar panel, mainly for mobile applications. Born to work well even in particularly difficult circumstances and under heavy mechanical stresses typical of extreme ocean racing, the photovoltaic module "Solbianflex" is a true revolution in the field for the high efficiency never achieved by a light and flexible panel and for the outstanding re- sistance to weather and degrading agents such as thermal shock, fog and salt water, solar radiation and shocks (can be walked). The panel is made of special polymers selected by researchers of CNR, a patented technology.
What makes Solbianflex panels innovative? The answer is simple: they are manufactured by encapsu- lating photovoltaic cells between polymer layers, without using protective glass. Solbian is not the only one to have followed this path, but it is the first to have developed a flexible, lightweight photo- voltaic module using crystalline silicon cells, robust enough to pass the stringent tests of the IEC cer- tifications (61215 and 62730): a result already obtained in 2011.
Solbian uses the best crystalline silicon cells from quality suppliers, like many other module manufac- turers. However, the various polymer layers that encapsulate and protect the cells are an exclusive patented recipe, kept secret like all great industrial recipes. A recipe elaborated and improved over five years and constantly evolving to keep pace with technology.
Since 2013 Solbian has been involved in solar car racing, interested in using those competition as test field, both for its existing technology and for new developments. Moreover the collaboration with solar race teams has already been source of inspiration and stimulus for technological improve- ments.
The last year cooperation with Ardingly Team has been particularly interesting for Solbian because of the freshness and spontaneity of the students, even younger than usual and so keen in participating with an "old style" car body fully stuffed on new technology. The actual development actually showed that supporting Ardingly was the right choice, the new project looking as a real break- through, both for style and technological content.
Solbian, born to bring solar energy in the marine field, is broadening its penetration in several other markets. Electrical mobility, among them, is seen by Solbian as one of the most promising in the me- dium/long term, and the solar car races represent the best occasion to test R&D developments with the major advantage of cooperate with many young, skilled and open minded students.