FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas-based startup WattGlass announced today a $679,413 award from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative to help commercialize its anti-reflective glass coating technology.
WattGlass will utilize the SunShot award to work with leading solar panel manufacturers and integrate their coating with the glass currently used in panel production. The project will result in over 240 panels being installed in test arrays distributed around the country.
WattGlass was founded in 2014 by four Arkansas-based entrepreneurs to commercialize technology developed by CEO Corey Thompson during his Ph.D. research under Dr. Min Zou at the University of Arkansas. The technology allows WattGlass to deposit a high performance antireflective coating using water-based chemistry that is cheaper than current alternatives, while also providing a self-cleaning and anti-fog surface that has applications in solar and other markets.
Corey Thompson, WattGlass co-founder and chief executive officer, said the SunShot award is a significant step along the path to commercialization. “The SunShot award is highly respected and will enable us to scale our best-in-class anti-reflective coating quickly by working with leaders in the solar industry. This 14-month project is structured to move our technology from the lab to the marketplace where we believe it can have an enormous impact on the cost of solar generated electricity.”
The SunShot Initiative, modeled after the Moon Shot, is a highly selective program that works with teams and technologies that can have a large and immediate impact on the cost of solar energy. WattGlass’ new technology will reduce the cost of solar panel production, increase the performance of installed panels in the field, and reduce maintenance costs associated with cleaning of the panels. The SunShot Technology to Market program aims to enable widespread market penetration of solar technologies by overcoming technical and market challenges. The award will allow WattGlass to accelerate the transition its early stage technology to a commercially relevant scale.
About the SunShot Initiative
The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, the Energy Department supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at energy.gov/sunshot.