The Danish National Labororatory for Sustainable Energy, Risø DTU, has connected a polymer solar-cell array to the grid on campus to demonstrate the current developments taking place with PV cells based on polymer materials. More than simply a test bed, researchers in collaboration with “roll-to-roll” flex-print and printed electronics specialist Mekoprint and BIPV module specialist Gaia Solar have fabricated the polymer cells for energy production, demonstrating the commercial readiness of the technology from a manufacturing perspective.

”The demonstration is an excellent example of how cooperation between research and industry promotes technology development and creates the initial basis for implementing new technology in society," says Henrik Bindslev, director of Risø DTU.

On a manufacturing cost basis, Risø DTU said that in June 2008 the price of the cells equated to €45.00 per watt but manufacturing cost reductions saw that fall to €22 per watt in January 2009 with a further reduction to €15 per watt in March. Risø DTU expects the price to fall to more competitive levels by the end of the year, noting a cost per watt of between €5 and €4.

The development and production cost reductions are said to be ongoing, with the aim to commercialise the technology as soon as possible. Conversion efficiencies were not available at time of posting.