Recognition and market traction for Solaxess


Neuchâtel based nanotech startup Solaxess is among the winners of the Watt d’Or 2021 Awards by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy. In addition to this recognition, the Swiss startup has been gaining market traction in Europe and recently signed an exclusive distribution contract for the Chinese market.

Solaxess is on a roll lately. Beginning January, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) awarded René Schmid Architekten AG and their partner, the Swiss nanotechnology startup, a Watt d'Or in the category “Buildings and Spaces” for the Umwelt Arena Schweiz project. The company stood out to integrate white film in the photovoltaic panels installed on the facades of the buildings.

Solaxess new technology makes it possible to produce white and coloured solar modules that are completely uniform, with no visible cells or connections. The principle is based on two elements: 1) the production of a nanotechnological film composed of numerous materials, including a polymer resin that ensures the good stability of these different components, and 2) the adaptation of the lamination process (bonding of the film between the PV cells and the glass) which guarantees the good holding of the film inside the panel, regardless of the specificities of each manufacturer. The production of modules in white or any other desired colour is possible both from standard crystalline silicon or CIGS high-efficiency solar modules. The building sector is its main market. Solaxess AG supplies its films to photovoltaic module manufacturers worldwide, enabling them to offer architects, builders and ultimately owners white or coloured active (photovoltaic) building components that are cost-effective, durable and aesthetically pleasing.

Successful pivot spawns growth

Since its creation in 2015, Solaxess has been developing its technological solution, with a major turning point in 2018 when the startup led by Sébastien Eberhard decides to rethink its production process for more efficiency and sustainability completely. The special circumstances of 2020 allowed the company to focus on developing new colours and a simplified application of the product inside a photovoltaic module—a result made possible by the close collaboration with the CSEM in Neuchâtel.

Thanks to the increase in volume generated by the new colour range, Solaxess reduced its product's selling price by a factor of three. As a result of this sharp reduction, major international groups have become the customers of Solaxess. It has also enabled the company to sign an exclusive distribution contract for the world's largest market, currently in China. Offering today six different colours and working on five new ones, Sébastien Eberhard is confident in its company's future development. The CEO plans further to develop the European, American and Korean markets.