May 12, 2021

This startup in green energy aims to be the solar world’s Intel with its revolutionary glass

The use of solar power comes into view as green energy gains momentum in India. During the year, India receives about 3,000 hours of sunlight and solar rays and is well-positioned to harness the sun’s influence. “It’s a paradox, though, even with frequent power cuts, India somehow remains energy-deficient. We get 5-6 Kwh/m2/day of mean direct solar insolation (DNI). On avg, in India, we get 200 MW/km square of solar radiation, which will equate to about 657.4 million MW. India only generated around 3 GW of solar energy in the year 2017,” stated Lakshmi Santhanam, Renkube Principal Engineer and also serves as the co-founder. The startup was founded by Lakshmi, who has worked at Cisco and Intel, Deepika Goyal, Balaji Lakshminath,  Janardhana V in 2017.  In the area of motion-free optical detection of solar panels, Renkube has become a solar R&D startup.

Renkube’s mission is to build the next generation of groundbreaking products in the field of solar photovoltaic as well as solar applications, leveraging its software expertise. The creators also want Renkube, with its unique light redirecting capabilities, to be regarded as the Intel of the solar universe. It is a revolutionary solar glass device that boosts the performance of photovoltaic solar panels by 20 percent. To gather more sunshine for the panel, it does have a patent-pending light that redirects the device built on the solar glass.

“A typical scenario is a mirror which can redirect additional sunlight to a solar panel,” Lakshmi says. But our light redirecting module is intelligently engineered to not overload the peak rating of a panel, unlike mirrors, which trigger hotspots. A bell curve is the solar panel’s energy output; it only provides peak power in the afternoon and performs poorly at other periods of the day. Just at those underperforming periods are our light redirectors precisely calibrated to throttle solar power production.

The system is agnostic to the particular solar cell form but is only relevant to the Greenfield installations. It operates in all periods and all geographic regions; there is no servicing other than daily cleaning of the solar panels once installed. The rooftop solar market, home, and company is Renkube’s direct intended audience. At present, the company is interested in conducting a pilot test with SunEdison Infra as well as in negotiations with other contractors of solar rooftops. Renkube will be a white-labeled business licensing technologies to producers of solar panels that would receive royalties on each glass unit available for sale to panel manufacturers.

The glass’s unique shape makes the panel better suited to agriculture as it allows more light to reach the ground below. This allows farmers to raise their earnings by 20-40% by leasing the farmland to solar developers and still planting crops as before. Its closest competitor is solar monitoring technology, which, by rotating the solar panel with gears and motors, improves energy generation.