The grant from Sustainable Development Technology Canada will be put towards comparing two types of solar cells, with the aim of reducing the cost and increasing the yield of different types of solar panels that are integrated into the design of buildings.
Called building-integrated photovoltaics, usually each panel is arranged in a series and includes a central inverter to make the direct-current system compatible with alternating current, which is used in standard power grids.
Trouble is, should the inverter fail the whole system crashes. As such, Solantro is developing a new way of connecting the modules that includes nano-inverters between them.
This is expected to bump up the solar energy harvest by up to 30 per cent, and reduce the cost and time of installation by 50 per cent.
"We are very grateful to receive such a financial contribution at a very critical time of our market development," stated Antoine Paqui, Solantro's chief executive.
Solantro will test the technology at the National Research Council's Canadian Centre for Housing Technology in Ottawa, among other locations.
The money will be leveraged with funding from an SDTC consortium that includes the National Research Council, Tecta Solar, System Photonics S.p.A., Solarcentury, and Captelia - EDF ENR/Imerys.