CSD Nano employees and Oregon State alumni Daniel Kornelis and Francis Oh prepare to apply the MoreSun™ multi-functional coating to solar panels at Albany Memorial Middle School.
CSD Nano, a spinoff of Oregon State University research, has developed an anti-reflective coating for large-scale solar arrays that increases power production and owners’ return on investment.
The patent-pending coating — called MoreSun™ — was developed by Oregon State engineering graduates Seung-yeol Han and Adam Gage. Founders and consultants of CSD Nano include Oregon State engineering professors Brian Paul and Chih-hung Chang, along with finance professor Jimmy Yang.
MoreSun is applied to solar arrays that are 2 to 3 years old. Using a hand-held motorized roller, a thin, uniform coating is placed on top of the array, which forms an anti-reflective, nano-structured layer on the surface when cured by the sun. This coating helps more sunlight continue through the array rather than bouncing off, increasing the amount of power it can generate.
Typically, the increase in power output averages 3.5 to 5 percent, depending on location. Solar arrays located on rooftops tend to have a higher power increase due to the angle of the sun. Solar array owners who sell power to the grid can expect a one-to-one revenue increase, with a 3.5 percent power output increase producing 3.5 percent more revenue. CSD Nano has proven typical power increases through beta-site demonstrations in various locations in the U.S., China, Italy, Portugal and Greece.
“With solar arrays, the power output is very easy to measure,” says CEO Paul Ahrens. “It is constantly being monitored and analyzed. We can look at the data, see where it was before we coated versus after we coated, and show the percentage increase in revenue.”
MoreSun also has anti-soiling properties. The coating prevents dirt from building up on solar arrays, which is beneficial in areas like the deserts of the Southwestern U.S. and Middle East or agricultural areas where there is lots of dust, especially during plowing. Anti-soiling allows an array to generate 5 to 10 percent additional power and reduces the cost of cleaning.
While the CSD Nano team has shared their product around the world, it can be found locally, too. Albany Memorial Middle School has a solar array coated with MoreSun on the building’s rooftop. Rather than powering the school directly, energy is sent to the electrical grid for Albany and surrounding areas.
Plans are in the works to coat additional rooftop and ground-mounted solar arrays across Oregon, nationally and internationally.
Ahrens adds that MoreSun is the only technology of its kind in the world.
“We have a very innovative technology,” he says. “The initial written opinion on our worldwide patent came back and said there is no prior art. Meaning no one has done anything like this before.”