3 Startups With Solar, Storage Tech Selected for GameChanger Accelerator

3 Startups With Solar, Storage Tech Selected for GameChanger Accelerator

The Shell GameChanger Accelerator Powered by NREL has announced 3 new startups involved in solar and storage technologies are to participate in the program

Solar Storage GameChanger

The Shell GameChanger Accelerator Powered by NREL (GCxN) has announced three new startups to participate in the program following a multistage competitive evaluation. GCxN provides promising cleantech startups with technical resources to accelerate product commercialization while de-risking investment. The new companies represent the program’s third cohort and are focused on enabling more efficient and effective solar and storage solutions.

The GCxN is a multi-million dollar, multi-year program developed in collaboration between Shell GameChanger and the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to discover and advance emerging clean technologies with the potential to dramatically alter the future global energy landscape. GCxN identifies promising startup companies through an ecosystem of more than 60 cleantech business incubators, accelerators and universities, providing access to up to USD 250,000 in non-dilutive funding in the form of technical experts to develop and demonstrate new energy technologies.

The selected startups are developing perovskite solar panel materials, hybrid solar-thermal systems and large-scale energy storage solutions. The third cohort of GCxN companies include:

  • BlueDot Photonics (Seattle) – Developing a cost-effective and scalable manufacturing process to create solar panels using perovskite materials, which can increase solar panel output by at least 10 percent.
  • Icarus, RT (San Diego) – Creating a hybrid solar-thermal photovoltaic system that stores and uses leftover “waste heat” from solar panels to generate power on demand. This significantly increases power output per panel and lowers the overall cost per kilowatt.
  • Jolt Energy Storage (Holland, MI) – Using organic compounds to develop safer and more efficient flow batteries with the same large-scale storage capabilities as lithium-ion but at a lower cost.

Over the past decade, solar deployments in the United States have increased by an average of 48 percent each year. The energy storage market is on a similar trajectory, nearly doubling in size in 2018 with similar expectations for final 2019 numbers.

“Startups play a critical role in maintaining the momentum of the clean energy transition. Now, more than ever, it is increasingly important to foster cleantech innovation and help promising solutions overcome barriers to market,” said Adam Duran, GCxN program manager at NREL.

“The startups that have been selected for the third GCxN cohort will help us achieve a lower-carbon future. They are looking at the full life cycle of solar and storage performance, and their technologies have the potential to drastically improve functionality and meet a wide range of real-world needs,” Haibin Xu, Shell’s GCxN program manager, said.

NREL has been working on developing perovskites for solar applications for a while now. Recently, we had reported that the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds at the University of Washington, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Toledo have formed the U.S. Manufacturing of Advanced Perovskites Consortium (US-MAP), which will work to accelerate commercialisation of perovskite technologies.

“Perovskites have the potential to become a game-changer for solar and many other fields,” said Martin Keller, director of NREL. “By combining our research efforts, this new consortium will bring this technology to market sooner than if we were all operating alone.”

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.