Absolar Solutions, a purpose driven tech start-up with an intent to reduce carbon emissions and energy costs across real estate, has launched its remote solar assessment technology to the Isle of Wight. SolarSim allows every resident to see their solar potential instantly from an accurate and independent source free of charge, including the optimum number of solar panels, estimated savings and installation cost. The service is supported by Future Isle of Wight, a community interest company that can help those interested in installing solar do so with reputable approved installers.

Absolar’s beginning

Absolar was formed by Phil Wu whilst at the University of Southampton as a post-doctoral researcher concentrating on city-wide carbon reduction in the Universities renowned Sustainable Energy Research Group. Phil’s desire to put knowledge into practice and spark the next energy revolution in sustainable energy led to the spin-outs foundation where it was joined by Nic Cory, an experienced finance director and property portfolio manager who was on the Universities entrepreneurial MBA programme and Christopher Coles, a recent Computer Science graduate from the University with experience in European energy trading. Absolar recently moved to the University of Southampton Science Park, gaining support from the Catalyst start-up accelerator.

Since its foundation, Absolar has developed its technology using a combination of LiDAR, satellite imagery and advanced geospatial analysis to create city-wide computer models that are overlayed with various data ranging from the suns path to population metrics that allows for scenario planning at scale in the context of reaching Net Zero. Key solutions include identification of roof space suitable for solar PV deployment with radiation and shading predicted at every 30-minute interval, allowing for accurate remote solar PV assessments and a carbon action planning tool that allows portfolio operators to measure their current and projected energy and environmental performance, providing action plans to move towards a Net Zero portfolio.

Team Expansion

The team has recently expanded to include additional machine learning and computer vision artificial intelligence expertise to undertake further R&D in the area, receiving grant support from the Space Research and Innovation Network for Technology (SPRINT) to partner further with the University of Southampton as well as host Absolar’s first carbon negative internships for current computer science students to gain experience in scoping and developing impactful software.

Absolar’s technology has currently been adopted by 24 local authorities to help deliver carbon reduction measures, with the first major adoption by Portsmouth City Council in the creation of their Switched-on-Solar service now having significant impact on cities residents, with solar panels being installed on roofs across the city as a result, particularly helping those experiencing fuel poverty. In addition to local authorities, Absolar also serves commercial property estates looking to both reduce energy costs and deploy renewable energy measures with a recent flagship project for Absolar being the remote assessment of multiple RAF airbases, providing building-by-building intelligence across the estates.

Most recent Project

Absolar’s most recent project on the Isle of Wight marks a first for the company in two ways, firstly by partnering with a community interest company to provide additional support and advice to residents and secondly with much of the software development and machine learning conducted by students from the University of Southampton as part of Absolar’s carbon negative internship opportunities, providing the chance for students to put their studies into practice and engage with purpose driven projects from start to finish. To see their work, visit www.solarsim.co.uk.

Dr Phil Wu says: “Being able to have such impact in the first year, to see solar panels on roofs, to see achievable city-wide plans drawn up and to see real engagement across business, academia and government as a direct result of our technology is fantastic. Our next step is to make the technology available to a wider audience and continue to support the transition of our built environment to a sustainable economy, including electric vehicle charging intelligence”