Third-generation photovoltaics forge ahead



Transparent solar cell by Heliatek

As developments on organic photovoltaics continue worldwide, the amount of attention paid to this 3rd generation photovoltaic technology remains unwaning, with many important announcements from all over the world keeping the levels of interest high. This week, Heliatek in Germany announced a new world record in transparent organic solar cell efficiency, achieving 7.2% efficiency on solar cells with a 40% light transparency.

The company - which already holds the world record for non-transparent organic solar cells at 12% efficiency - has been putting a lot of effort in achieving higher conversion efficiencies for transparent cells for some time, and believes that breakthroughs like this one could help transform the building integrated PV industry.

"The transparency of our products is at the core of our market approach," said Heliatek CEO Thibauld Le Seguillon. "Our HeliaFilm is customized to meet our partners' specific needs. We are a component supplier and this component is a film that can combine transparency and energy generation. This unique combination widens our market potential."

On the DSSC front, G24 Power is transforming itself, and has now restarted production of its dye sensitised solar cells, as well as starting research and development activities on new products including solid-state flexible cells at the company's new 89,000sq.m. factory at Imperial Park in Newport, South Wales.

Richard Costello, CEO of G24 Power, said: "We are delighted to be able to move into a more suited factory. The move will allow us to increase production and work more effectively on new products. Our GCell is unique in the market and is the closest that mankind has come to replicating nature's photosynthesis. We are now able to use this technology to create the next generation cell."
G24 Power products have been used all over the world and its innovations have included installation of energy efficient window blinds for 8,000 windows at the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas, and creating the world's first light-powered iPad keyboard folio.

But the company's product innovations do not stop there as in the next few months we are expecting to see more integrated designs realized by G24 Power and its collaborating companies, such as the Leia e-reader, fully powered by photovoltaic cells alone, or even applications in building automation such as smoke detectors, sensors, etc.

OPVs and DSSCs at Energy Harvesting Europe 2014, 1-2 April, Berlin
Although IDTechEx is forecasting modest growth in the next decade for 3rd generation photovoltaic technologies, the companies involved in this space are working hard at identifying the most relevant niche markets for their technology and are working on a systemic/integrated approach in order to make their first products commercially available. Organic solar cells and DSSCs will together represent a market opportunity of approximately $200 Million by 2023.

Organic Photovoltaics (OPV)

Dye Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSC/DSC)

Energy Harvesting Europe