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Welsh firm behind game-changing solar energy tiles

GROUNDBREAKING solar energy cells were successfully tested at one of the UK’s most efficient and sustainable deep-sea ports.

Grafmarine, based in Anglesey and Manchester, trialled its NanoDeck AI solar tile management solution at Port of Tyne, near Newcastle.

A leader among international green ‘smart ports’, the site is hosting the UK’s first and only 2050 Maritime Hub, which acts as a catalyst for research, advancing technology and tackling shared challenges in the battle to decarbonise the industry and raise awareness to climate change globally.

Port of Tyne embraced and collaborated with Grafmarine over a period of six months, trialling their state-of-the-art smart solar power solution NanoDeck, which can be attached to any flat surface to capture, store, and remotely manage clean energy.

This pilot was part of the Port’s ‘Clean Energy Testbed’ which aims to enable companies developing innovative clean energy technologies.

Grafmarine’s Commercial Director Nigel Marc Roberts thanked the Port of Tyne for its support and spirit of collaboration as they explore new ways to help the transport and logistics sector decarbonise and meet future legislation.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with the team at Port of Tyne, they are one of the UK leaders for innovation in sustainability and the journey to decarbonisation in the maritime arena,” said Nigel.

“They are renowned for embracing small technologies and micro businesses like Grafmarine, companies with an idea that could make a major difference for generations to come, with the right backing.

“They have certainly given us that, through engineering and technical support and by identifying the most suitable locations for testing; we can see what a revolutionary concept this is in a marine environment.

“The data we collected reflects and demonstrates the NanoDeck could be an engine to assist in driving decarbonisation at the port and others worldwide in the future.”

Grafmarine Director and Founder Martin Leigh said they will continue working in partnership with Port of Tyne and trial the solar tiles in harsher conditions over the winter.

He added: “With the introduction to additional model designs, PV and battery technology, the opportunity to test our NanoDeck solution in both harsh environmental and low sun radiation conditions will be invaluable to our continued development.”

Eleni Bougioukou, Innovation Manager for Energy and Sustainability at Port of Tyne, echoed those comments and said their focus is on contributing to the growth of the economy while becoming the UK’s safest, most progressive, customer-focused, and environmentally sustainable port for generations to come.

“We are very excited to be working with Grafmarine as the NanoDeck is an example of the kind of clean energy technology that will help decarbonise the maritime sector and accelerate the transition to a clean and sustainable future,” she said.