- Industry Roundup
- Fab & Facilities
- Cell Processing
- Thin Film
- PV Modules
- Power Generation
Japan-based Tanaka Precious Metals has taken-out licenses from the National Central University, Taiwan to manufacture and supply ruthenium-based dye compounds for next generation dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC). The ruthenium complex dye was developed by Professor Chun-Guey Wu and post-doctoral researcher, Chia-Yuan Chen, with reported conversion efficiencies of 11.4%, reported in the scientific journal, ACS nano in 2009, operating in the visible light wavelength range of approximately 400 to 750 nanometers.
Dye-sensitized solar thin-film specialist, Dyesol has claimed a 15% increase in the efficiency performance of large DSC strip cells has been achieved, bringing industrial DSC efficiency up from 6.9% to 8% in 2011. The increase in efficiency results were said to come from improvements in materials and structural design elements.
A new world-record efficiency of 8.3% has been claimed for a polymer-based single junction organic solar cell in an inverted device stack. Research house, imec and industrial partners Polyera and Solvay developed the proprietary inverted bulk heterojunction architecture, which resulted in achieving much higher efficiencies that other organic thin film cells have to date. Work is ongoing to increase the cell size and lifetime, a key challenge for organic-based cells.
Fraunhofer ISE CalLab has certified a 9.8% cell efficiency for Heliatek’s 1.1cm² tandem organic solar cell, which was created with a low temperature deposition process. The company’s in-house measurements have demonstrated that scaling up its record-breaking cells to a panel with a size factor >120 produces efficiency over 9% for the active module area. Heliatek notes that its new record is the third in a row that it has set for efficiency in OPV.
Working with its 16 project partners Imec has launched the European FP7 project X10D. The collaboration will see the companies working towards the development of tandem organic solar cells that boast increased conversion efficiency, a longer lifetime and a smaller production cost. Imec advised that the overarching goal of the project is to bring OPV technologies into the competitive thin-film PV market.
Roll-to-roll PV manufacturing will receive a boost with the news that imec’s Holst Centre, an open-innovation initiative, has teamed up with nTact for developments in the field of flexible electronics. nTact is the trade name for FAS Holdings Group, a US manufacturer of high-precision deposition systems for the microelectronics and energy industries.
Organic PV company Konarka Technologies is working alongside the colour and construction unit of ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe to develop a number of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) solutions using its Power Plastic.
One announcement that has been creating quite a buzz at this year’s EU PVSEC exhibition and conference is Konarka’s news that it is venturing down the BIPV route with its organic solar cells. Outlining the company’s strategy during a press conference at the show, company CEO, director and cofounder Howard Berke stated that it was a natural move for the company, whose 1cm2 single-junction OPV cells have been verified by NREL as having 8.29% efficiency.
Belgian research centre imec has announced the development of its new organic PV cell. Developed in conjunction with Pennsylvanian technology company Plextronics and Belgian chemical company Solvay, the polymer-based single junction cell achieves an efficiency of up to 6.9%. A module using the same polymer achieved an efficiency of 5% across an area of 25cm2.
Dyesol advised that it had completed the delivery and installation of equipment for DyeTec Solar’s dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC)-based BIPV program, which is funded by the Ohio Third Frontier Fund. The equipment was delivered to DyeTec’s Toledo, Ohio facility with Dyesol noting that it had relocated staff with a DSC background to the site. Management and technical personnel moved to Ohio in May and completed the first phase of the program, which has allowed Dye Tec to commence building prototype panels.
Plextronics has scored US$15 million during its financing round from Solvay, its largest minority shareholder, which will go towards stepping up the company’s technology development and delivery of its products to customers located worldwide. Plextronics is focused on developing polymer-based materials and technologies for key applications of printed electronics such as organic light emitting diodes (OLED) and organic PV cells (OPV).
Collaboration between Merck and Nano-C is intended to bring about breakthroughs in nanostructured fullerene derivatives and semiconducting material formulations that overcome performance limitations of existing organic photovoltaics (OPV) materials. Merck’s Chilworth Technical Centre near Southampton, UK, is heading up the research.
The fourth Solar Summit: International Conference on Highlights and Trends in Solar Energy will be taking place November 14 through 15 in Freiburg, Germany and will feature a new set up that will showcase an up-to-date annual review of solar energy conversion technologies and devote a section that emphasizes one special topic each year. This November organic photovoltaics (OPV) will take center stage as the conference features presentations and discussions on market and political issues with international speakers and industry experts from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE hosting the event.
The Tata Steel and Dyesol development partnership has produced the world’s largest dye-sensitized photovoltaic module. Manufactured at Tata Steel’s Shotton site in North Wales, the module is over three metres in length and approximately one square metre in area. This unique achievement represents an important step towards the development of large-scale microgeneration capability within building infrastructure.
Konarka Technologies’ New Bedford, Massachusetts facility now features the world’s first OPV semi-transparent BIPV curtain wall, laminated onto seven of the company’s south and east facing 56”x67” windows. Utilizing its own Power Plastic technology, Konarka was able to incorporate the technology into the building structure, producing the largest OPV installation of its kind.