Technology

Vacuum deposition in a roll-to-roll-process: Innovative technology meets pioneer spirit

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Technology leader pioneering low-cost mass production

Heliatek uses an efficient roll-to-toll processes in vacuum and inert atmospheres to manufacture its solar films. The manufacturing facilities were specially designed for Heliatek’s production processes and developed in cooperation with leading equipment manufacturers, technology suppliers, and software specialists.

The next generation of solar energy

Unlike crystalline and conventional thin-film technologies, HeliaFilm® consists of ultra-thin layers of organic molecules, deposited on a flexible PET film.

The main advantages of Heliatek’s technology, compared to organic solar cells based on printed polymers, lie in better process control, higher efficiency, and, most importantly, longer lifespan. Our concept allows using synergies with the OLED technology, that is already well established in the market, especially for displays.

Highly efficent material use

We develop all absorbing materials of our organic molecule-based solar films in our own R&D department. 

The innovative roll-to-roll production process offers many advantages: high throughput, high yield and low costs. For example only 1g of organic material is necessary for one square meter (1m²= 10.74 ft²) of active HeliaFilm®. Together with the low power consumption of the production process this leads to a uniquely short energy payback time of less than 3 months.

All advantages at a glance

  • Very small foot print
  • No clean room required
  • Ultra low energy consumption
  • Flexible PET film substrate
  • Low process temperatures
  • No expensive recycling processes necessary
  • Minimal use of raw materials (just 1 gram of organic material for 1 m²)
  • Completely toxic-free manufacturing processes (e.g. acids, toxic solvents and gases)
  • Almost infinite availability of non-toxic raw materials (e.g. no rare earths or heavy metals are used)

Innovative laser technology

Precise laser structuring for minimal area losses

The small molecules of Heliatek are simply thermally evaporated onto the substrate in contrast to other OPV technologies utilizing large molecules (polymers), which require complex solvents and various printing processes. Very precise laser patterning allows optimal use of the available surface.

Nothing but hot air?

This process uses thermal evaporation to apply our molecules onto the substrate. The carrier film is heated to maximum temperature of 120° C during the whole process.

Currently, Heliatek is ramping up its production with the aim to manufacture flexible solar films in volume in the near future.

Production costs will then be substantially reduced by continuously increasing production volumes while simultaneously boosting efficiency levels. This will provide our customers with a cost effective electricity generation on the façade.

The combination of our know-how in chemical synthesis and applied physics together with our advanced engineering capabilities allows Heliatek to make faster and larger leaps forward in OPV technological developments than anybody else.

In-house development of organic materials

Constant research and development delivers innovations

Our unique technology is based on a patent protection for a wide range of organic small molecule absorbers with superior performance. And we will continue to develop for even better performance.

World record of 13,2% OPV cell efficiency

We hold the world record of 13,2% cell efficiency for non-transparent organic solar cells. The latest development allows transparency levels up to 50% with an efficiency of 6%.

The degradation of the organic solar film was tested in severe conditions: Temperatures up to 85°C, continuous UV radiation, continuous radiation with irradiance of 1000 Wm2, damp heat (85°C, 85 % relative air humidity) and under realistic outdoor conditions. The flexible cells have shown less than 10% degradation after 3.000 hours at 85°C / 85% r.h., which is far better than the required solar cell industry standard of 1000 hours at these conditions.

Research and development work, as well as the installation of production technology, have been funded by the Free State of Saxony, the Federal Republic of Germany and the European Union.

Solar active glass with HeliaFilm®

Using glass façades for power generation with transparent solar film without disrupting the building design.

 

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