Konarka Technologies, Inc. will head up the development project through a consortium, supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), for the OPV stability project, which focuses on developing stable solar modules as well as increasing the lifespan of organic solar cells (OSC) and yielding competitive organic photovoltaics (OPV) for possible commercial use. Konarka will fund nearly €2.5 million over the next three years for the project.
The consortium for the project includes: University Tübingen, University Wuppertal, Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich and the Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz.
“The partners of this BMBF initiative are participating to break through technological and economic barriers in innovation in the field of organic photovoltaics,” commented Christoph Brabec, CTO at Konarka. “We are expected to make significant contributions to extending the lifespan of organic solar cells, ultimately delivering future organic photovoltaic technology with increased commercial attractiveness.”
Organic solar cells have significant advantages, such as being flexible, semi-transparent and inexpensive to produce. Unfortunately, current barrier materials affect their lifespan. A higher life expectancy can be achieved by combining high-quality encapsulation with high intrinsic stability of PV materials; this then is the focus of the BMBF Stability project.
BMBF has also recently announced its support for a future-oriented development project by a group of renowned companies, including Konarka. The BMBF Efficiency Project is anticipated to yield solar cells that are optimized for specific uses with efficiencies of more than 10% and to be competitive with other PV technologies.