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11 June, 2018 - 16:17 By Tony Quested

Window of opportunity as Cambridge company tilts at £1.5m crowd cash

Cambridge CleanTech business Polysolar has raised almost £400k of a £750,000 target in just three days of a crowdfunding campaign and CEO Hamish Watson say the hope is to swell the haul to £1.5 million by the time the guillotine falls on the campaign at the end of June.

Based at the Hauser Forum, Polysolar makes windows that generate electricity and aims to lead the way with transparent photovoltaic glass that forms the fabric of a building. The vision is to turn buildings into power stations, with windows that generate clean renewable energy leveraging its technology.

More than half the global population live in cities with buildings that generate over 40 per cent of UK carbon emissions. 

While modern urban architecture seeks to reduce its energy consumption, it is constrained by the desire for more glazing, with effective heat gains and losses, and limited renewable energy generation options, the company says.

Supported by Innovate UK grant funding, Polysolar has invested over £1.5m in research and development to produce a range of innovative certified photovoltaic glass products that meet building and planning regulations.

Watson says the global solar photovoltaic and building glass markets are large; each with sales over $100 billion annually. The solar PV glass market, combining the two, is expected to grow to $26bn by 2022.

Polysolar is expanding rapidly, achieving a 400 per cent growth in sales over the past three years (£86k in 2016 to £407k in 2018; profit in 2018 is £68k).

As one of the leading brand in the market, Polysolar has installed its technology on number of reference sites for clients including Sainsbury’s, Network Rail and Canary Wharf. This year the company aims to further expand overseas.

Watson said the company had launched the Crowdcube campaign to underpin its next phase of growth in the micro renewable energy economy. He told Business Weekly: “We’re very pleased to have raised so much money – half the target figure – in just three days. At the current rate we would love to raise £1.5m by the end of the month to underpin our plans for global growth.”

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