Apollo Power, an Israeli company that develops technology to turn surfaces into energy sources using the sun’s rays has opened its flagship factory for the mass production of solar panels. It claims it is the first such factory in the world.
The facility measures 10,000 square meters and was constructed at a cost of NIS 100 million. It is located in Israel’s northernmost Yokneam’s Mevo Carmel Science and Industry Park.
According to the company, the automatic facility will produce 1.5 million square metres of solar film annually or a capacity of approximately 190 megawatts. This is equivalent to the average consumption of 35,000-40,000 households.
Apollo was founded in 2014 by Oded Rosenberg, CEO, and Eran Mimon (CTO). It claims that its technology can be used to make a flexible, lightweight, durable, and high-efficiency solar film that can convert any surface that is sunkissed into an energy-producing surface that generates electricity.
Solar panels can be used on surfaces like cars, trucks, roofs, and aircraft that are not able to support the weight of solar panels. The basic unit of solar film measures 12 square meters in size and weighs 3 kg per square meter.
“This innovative, automated facility was built in one year and a quarter using groundbreaking technology that we developed ourselves to achieve our goal of producing electricity from any surface that is exposed to the sun. Rosenberg said that there is unlimited potential. Our flexible solar-film technology is especially suitable for installation on light roofs, water reservoirs, and the automotive market.
Apollo, Germany’s Volkswagen commercial vehicle group, has already signed its first commercial agreement in the global automotive market. The facility will be opened as Apollo celebrates last year’s first commercial deal. Apollo will supply Volkswagen with thousands of solar sheets under the 10-year deal. The agreement is valued at EUR33 Million. These solar energy films will be integrated into Volkswagen vehicles starting in July 2024.
The company also collaborates with Audi, a German car manufacturer, to incorporate flexible and lightweight solar cells into the roof of its electric cars. Apollo is also working with other brands like Renault, Hyundai, and Geely.
Apollo stated that the solar sheet produces electricity from solar energy, which helps extend the car’s driving range.