Skip to main content

Replicating the SUN through affordable, efficient and accurate LEDs

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SENSEE (Replicating the SUN through affordable, efficient and accurate LEDs)

Reporting period: 2017-05-01 to 2017-07-31

SENSEE is an innovative LED based sun simulator that replicates sunlight in the industry of testing of solar-related products. These products respond differently to the ranges of the solar spectrum (UV, visible and IR), and thus up to date, an accurate and flexible tuning of the light source spectrum is necessary during testing. For instance:
• PV cells generate electricity mainly through the visible spectrum.
• Heat supply from thermal panels happens mainly with IR light.
• Plastic and glasses degradation through UV light.
• Water disinfection through photocatalysis with UV spectrum.
Current simulators (based in Halogen and Xenon lamps) have severe accuracy, flexibility and economic limitations and SENSEE, based on LEDs and a complete electronic control, responds to the up-to-date market and new user needs with a technology:
• Simpler and affordable (7x times cheaper than traditional simulators, which are around 300.00-500.000€)
• Longer lifetime (10.00h vs. 1.000h) more efficient (90% lower consumption) and lower maintenance costs (93% lower cost)
• More precise response (only 5% of deviation to sunlight) improving allowed tolerances defined in standards (IEC60904-9, JIS C8912 and ASTM E92705)
The recent EU Halogen ban (2016) and the rapid and unexpected advancement of LEDs has brought us a unique market opportunity that we are seizing now. With SENSEE we are opening a new niche of products that covers the gap between very expensive and complex systems used by certification labs and the uncalibrated lamps used by small testing industry and research entities.
Recently we have worked on validating the technical and business viability of our project and have designed a clear business project roadmap. After some electronics and design improvements, we have sold our first SENSEE system at a prototype stage to the chemical department of the Spanish URJC university. With this experience we have been able to prove the proper operation under a real and operational environment but more important, the real and patent interest from our target markets in our innovative systems. Saiens has also gained the recognition from the ESA (European Space Agency) and MadrI+D, as part of the ESA-BIC incubation programme.
After a conscious market analysis we have concluded with a clear market penetration plan. We will approach EU markets of Lab solar testing sector (Spain, Italy and France first, followed by Germany, Benelux and UK) by 2020, with the standard versions of SENSEE. Indeed, these are the users with a more imminent need of LED simulators: R&D centers, University labs, R&D departments of big solar industry manufacturers (PV, solar thermal and thin film PV) and certification labs. We will launch test bench simulators for big PV manufacturers in 2022 (China, USA and Canada) and more complex simulators, space simulators (with a solar spectrum above atmosphere, AM0), by 2024. With this plan in mind we expect a mean market penetration of 9% by 2024 only in EU and a significant business growth of (11M€ turnover by 2024) that will be supported by the gradual creation of 26 jobs and a manufacturing workshop for simulators construction and integration.