Sunman receives US$7m investment from
CEFC to accelerate solar innovation
Sunman has secured US$7 million in funding from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to
further develop its revolutionary lightweight, flexible solar panels.
The CEFC committed the investment through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund to the Sunman
US$12 million Series B capital raising, alongside company founder Dr Zhengrong Shi and Southern
Cross Venture Partners.
It will see the innovative solar energy technology behind its eArc solar modules further developed
and deployed, and its installation processes optimised.
Solar energy entrepreneur Dr Shi, dubbed “the Sun King”, said the CEFC support would allow
Sunman to accelerate its transformation of solar modules use in Australia.
“The next frontier is to deliver on their potential to encase the exterior of a building by integrating
the technology into construction material,” he said.
This would expand the application of eArc modules, allowing them to be integrated into building
facades and other surfaces, growing the size and market potential of solar in Australia.
The eArc modules can already be used across a wider range of applications than existing glass
modules, as they are 70 per cent lighter than a glass module and 14-17 kg lighter than conventional
They are made of a lightweight polymer composite material and are cheaper to transport and easier
to install as they can be glued to a surface. Gluing panels to the roof solves structural limitations with
regards to uplift forces.
CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said: “The flexibility of the eArc panel means we can be more creative
about where we install solar PV, moving beyond flat rooftops to awnings, carports, carpark canopies
and building facades.
“The lighter weight of the panels also means solar can be extended across existing rooftops on
factories, warehouses, garages and other structures that are not strong enough to support heavier
Dr Shi said an estimated 40% of commercial roofs are structurally “slender” and cannot
accommodate the weight or uplift of glass solar modules.
“eArc also opens up the untapped membrane roof market, a segment that has been overlooked by
many solar installers as being too expensive or difficult.
“Unlike glass modules, eArc can be bonded like a “solar skin” directly to these roofs with zero
Sunman’s lightweight eArc module allows businesses to maximise the potential of their idle roof
assets to significantly reduce their electricity costs while achieving their corporate sustainability
Compared to installing glass modules, eArc also results in shorter completion time, easier safety
management and less disruption to the business’ core activities.
“Our eArc modules are providing a wealth of benefits to businesses around Australia, and with this
new investment, that will only increase,” Shi said.
“Our technology will revolutionise the way Australians approach solar and save them money on
Sunman is the parent company of Australian business Energus, which last year installed the
country’s largest lightweight solar module roof on the Australian National Maritime Museum’s
Heritage Centre in Darling Harbour.
The facility could not use conventional solar modules due to its weight constraints and heritage
status, and with the eArc modules was able to reduce the Museum’s electricity consumption by 25%.
The modules also already power the Byron Bay solar train, having been moulded to fit its curved
Sunman is a technology company founded by a group of industry veterans delivering the future of
Solar. Through the research and development of composite materials, Sunman has successfully
commercialized the world's first glass-free, lightweight, and flexible Module – eArc. Replacing glass
completely, eArc brings solar power to markets and applications scenarios that were previously
About the CEFC
The CEFC has a unique role to increase investment in Australia’s transition to lower emissions. With
the backing of the Australian Government, we invest to lead the market, operating with commercial
rigour to address some of Australia’s toughest emissions challenges – in agriculture, energy
generation and storage, infrastructure, property, transport and waste. We’re also proud to back
Australia’s cleantech entrepreneurs through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund and invest in the
development of Australia’s hydrogen potential through the Advancing Hydrogen Fund. With $10
billion to invest on behalf of the Australian Government, we work to deliver a positive return for
taxpayers across our portfolio
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