- Industry Roundup
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- PV Modules
- Power Generation
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.
G24 Innovations (G24i) and Texas Instruments (TI) have entered into a strategic development agreement where they will mutually develop a technology platform that utilizes G24i’s solar cell technology with TI’s nano-powered converter. The two companies aim to create an original opportunity for global OEM’s to design new independent self-powering devices.
Adding to operating R&D collaborations in other regions of the world, dye-sensitized solar cell start-up Dyesol has been awarded grant support by the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI) for the establishment of an R&D facility in Japan. The company said that it intends to establish a materials integration centre in Japan by July, with the facilities fully operational by late 2012.
Citing the road to commercialization and a number of ‘world-class solar photovoltaic projects’ in the pipeline for its dye solar cell technology, Dyesol has raised further funding to support current levels of operational expenditure.
Konarka Technologies is strengthening its management team with the appointment of Dr. James Buntaine as its executive vice president and chief technology officer. The new position adds weight behind the recent appointment of Kenneth McCauley as vice president of sales and marketing to transition the company into its commercial ramp phase. Dr Buntaine comes from Eastman Kodak after a 30-year career at the firm.
The organic photovoltaics (OPV) industry is set to experience a near-sixfold increase in size over the next five years, according to a new report from industry analysts NanoMarkets. The report, titled “Materials, Applications and Opportunities in Organic Photovoltaics,” claims that OPV, which is expected to generate revenues of US$56 million in 2011, will be worth US$387 million by 2016.