A portable solar panel made with supercar waste material

A virtuous collaboration in the name of the circular and green economy that allows to recover carbon fiber waste and to have a portable solar panel for different applications.

A portable solar panel made with supercar waste material

3 minutes, 20 secondes

With this project, the startup Levante based in Milan and the company ACS (Advanced Composites Solutions), based in Bologna and Tortoreto (Teramo), expert in the design and manufacture of composite material components for various industrial sectors, won the 2022 Best Practices Award for Innovation (Greentech category).

The prize, promoted and organized by Confindustria Salerno is a prestigious award, which has been assigned in Italy for eighteen years to the best of companies, spin offs and startups. The initiative promotes the culture of innovation in Italy by generating a virtuous mechanism of contamination and sharing of projects between different actors, offering additional points for projects carried out in collaboration with other subjects.

The portable solar panel made with supercar waste material can be used anywhere you want with a plug & play all-in-one system ready to use.

60 projects selected by Confindustria in the Internet of Things, Digitization and Greentech sectors competed for the prize. Levante and ACS have applied in the Greentech category, offering a solution whose technological content is designed to improve the environment.

The Levante start-up

Sara Plaga and Kim-Joar Myklebust, founders of Levante, created the startup to simplify the access to energy with a more efficient, versatile and accessible solution. The idea of ​​the startup, which today is among the top 50 startups in Europe for sustainable mobility, was born from a problem they felt firsthand. They are both sailors and camper users and on  their travels they felt the need to have access to energy everywhere.

Levante origami inspired solar panel was born from this need.

The smart, modular, portable origami inspired solar panel can be used closed (compact and portable), opening movement, open for maximum power.

By simplifying the design of green energy with a recycled and renewable product, Levante has in fact revolutionized the concept of static solar panels, creating a patent pending product that you can take anywhere and use in off-grid contexts. With its patent pending technology, the device is compact, portable, modular and deployable thanks to an origami-inspired mechanism.

Sara Plaga, co-founder and CEO of Levante says:

“Levante wants to create clean energy in a portable format, but creating clean energy alone is not enough. We want to be responsible for the impact of the product we are creating. The collaboration with our partner ACS allows us to combine and optimize the technologies available on the market and make them more effective for a common benefit. We would like to thank Confindustria of Salerno for this recognition which represents for us a confirmation that we are on the right path towards a world where resources are provision are exploited in an optimal way “.

How it is made

ACS is an international company founded six years ago by the engineer and entrepreneur Roberto Catenaro. The company has provided to this project its technology and experience in the recovery of carbon fiber waste from the automotive industry.

Almost 40% of the carbon fiber used for the production of a single racing car is discarded (about 250 kg). The project set up by the two companies represents a unique opportunity to create a recovery process called “upcycling” (which literally means to recycle better).

First, the process starts with the collection of waste materials from three different types before they become waste: cutting scraps, carbon fiber parts scraps and end-of–cycle parts. Then, they transform these scraps in new materials through two alternative combustion ways (pyrolysis or chemical process) that involve the elimination of resin inside the materials. These fibers, cleaned of the resin, are ground to obtain new fibers ready to be impregnated again with epoxy or vinyl ester resins. This recycling process creates new compounds based on short carbon fibers (SMC) that they use in the production of the solar panel’s frame, mechanical arms and hinges. The idea is good because it’s twice green: when they use the scraps creating new materials from scraps and when they use the panels to produce solar energy.

Engineer Roberto Catenaro, founder and CEO of ACS adds:

“We have always been committed to research projects that go in the direction of improving our processes and our technologies but also avoiding waste. We are really happy that the partnership with Levante arouses the interest of privileged observers, this pushes us to move forward with enthusiasm and greater determination “.

The collaboration between Levante and ACS – with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of both companies – will enable to benefit both companies as well as reducing the amount of waste and raw materials used, representing an advantage to the entire productive process.

It is the first solar panel designed and made in Italy with recycled materials with an integrated solar tracking system to increase efficiency.
This is the first solar panel designed and made in Italy with recycled materials with an integrated solar tracking system to increase efficiency.
More information www.acs-carbon.com