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Europeans Collaborate for Better, Cheaper Solar Cells

Photonics.com
Nov 2011
LEUVEN, Belgium, Nov. 4, 2011 — Nanoelectronics research company Imec and several universities and research institutes throughout Europe have launched the European FP7 project X10D, which aims to develop tandem organic solar cells with an increased conversion efficiency and lifetime, and a decreased production cost. The ultimate goal of the X10D project is to pave the way for organic photovoltaic technologies' (OPV) introduction into the competitive thin-film PV market.


Imec’s tandem organic solar cells on glass plates with a power conversion efficiency to 5.15 percent. (Image: Imec)

While organic solar cells hold the promise of low-cost production and high throughput, current OPV technologies are unstable when exposed to the ambient environment, and their power conversion efficiencies are not sufficient to make them viable alternatives to the current dominating silicon photovoltaic technologies. By applying new designs and architectures, materials and manufacturing technologies, the X10D project aims to increase the power conversion efficiency to at least 12 percent on cell level (1 cm²), and 9 percent on module level (100 cm²). The project's goal is to guarantee a minimum 20-year lifetime for OPV modules on glass and 10 years on foil, and to decrease the cost below 0.70 €/Watt-peak (about 97 cents/Watt-peak).

X10D gathers the available OPV knowledge and expertise from leading universities, research institutes and companies in Europe, bringing together an OPV research and development consortium covering both solution-processed as well as small molecule-based OPV expertise. Each segment of the value chain is represented in the project: materials development and upscaling, device development and upscaling, large-area deposition equipment and processes, novel transparent conductors, laser scribing equipment and processes, encapsulation technologies, energy, life cycle, cost analysis and end users.

For more information, visit: www.imec.be


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