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More from the sun

Although a newcomer to the solar industry, Savosolar is already accelerating the solar thermal revolution with the promise of better energy efficiency. Savosolar products are also helping solar-powered district heating units deliver more energy and making it possible to produce new, more elegant integrated solar roof designs.

An international team of vacuum coating experts got together in 2009 with a simple mission: to create better solar thermal absorbers and collectors. The resulting company, Savosolar, has quickly made its mark in the industry, winning the Intersolar Award just a couple of years later – in 2011 – for its Direct- Flow absorber and an industry-leading standard of efficiency. This year, Savosolar and its partner, Ruukki, launched the first fully integrated solar thermal roof for single-unit dwellings – marking yet another stage in the Savosolar story.

Savosolar currently supplies customers across Europe, as well as in Japan and South Africa, where a partnership with a local company has been established.

The annual coating capacity of the company’s state-of-the-art facility currently stands at 1 million m2 and absorbers up to 18 m2 in size can be coated in one piece. Savosolar is able to produce 3,000-4,000 solar collectors or absorbers a month at the moment and plans to further increase its capacity to secure its in-house production capabilities and guarantee maximum consistency and quality.

Unique technology generates real benefits

Savosolar’s technology offers a number of competitive advantages. These include a higher efficiency yield throughout the life of a collector than any competing product. The main reason for this is the minimal heat loss resulting from the improved heat transfer and uniform heat distribution in the unique Direct-Flow absorber design, which is made possible by the ability to coat complete absorbers.

Savosolar’s patented MEMO coating provides excellent stability at high temperatures and is central to the long service life of Savosolar absorbers. This durability at high temperatures can be very useful in applications where energy needs are not continuous, as in the case of process heat users, such as breweries. The coating is also highly tolerant of marine and other aggressive environments.

The MEMO coating consists of three thin ceramic layers based on silicon, aluminium, and titanium compounds, which are vacuum-deposited using PVD and PECVD technology. This combination of ceramic layers forms a selective absorber coating with a solar absorbance factor of more than 96% and a low thermal emission of just 5%.

OEM partners and collector manufacturers can reap very clear benefits from Savosolar’s technology, as the annual energy yield from one of its collectors can be over 20% higher than using standard absorber technologies. As a result, Savosolar makes solar energy more affordable and convenient not only for households, but also larger applications, such as hotels, district heating, and industrial processes. 

The high efficiency of Savosolar’s collectors is based on a combination of the company’s innovative Direct-Flow technology and a vacuum-deposited selective nano-structured multilayer absorption coating.
> Jari Varjotie
(Published in HighTech Finland 2013)