Heliatek sets new world record efficiency of 10.7% for its organic tandem cell

July 24, 2012

Heliatek GmbH, technology leader in the field of organic solar films, continues to set new world records for organic solar cells. The company has commissioned SGS, an accredited and independent testing facility, with a measurement campaign of its latest organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells. The result of this campaign is a new world record for OPV with 10.7 % cell efficiency on 1.1 cm2. It also confirms the superior low light and high temperature performances of OPV compared to traditional solar technologies.

The key to Heliatek’s success is the family of small organic molecules – oligomers – developed and synthesized at its own lab in Ulm, Germany. Dr. Martin Pfeiffer, co-founder and CTO of Heliatek, explains: “Heliatek is the only solar company in the world that uses the deposition of small organic molecules in a low temperature, roll-to-roll vacuum process. Our solar tandem cells are made of nanometers thin layers of high purity and uniformity. This enables us to literally engineer the cell architecture to systematically improve efficiency and lifetime.”

The measurement campaign of SGS included efficiency measurements under standard testing conditions (STC) of the solar industry as well as performance measurements at low light and high temperatures of up to 80 °C. The test results not only set a new world record for OPV with 10.7 % cell efficiency, but the additional measurements highlight the superior performance of Heliatek’s OPV cells under real life conditions.

The measurement results for low light established that the efficiency not only remains constant, but even increases gradually. At an irradiation of 100 W/m² the efficiency is 15 % higher compared to the standard efficiency measured at 1,000 W/m². Additionally, the measurements at high temperatures confirmed that the efficiency remains constant. This behavior is unique for OPV technology in contrast to traditional solar technology which efficiency drops 15 % to 20 % at elevated temperatures.

These technology advantages translate into a higher harvesting factor under real life conditions. First outdoor tests have shown that the harvesting factor of Heliatek’s organic solar cells is 15 % to 25 % higher than crystalline and thin film solar.

“When Heliatek was founded in 2006, the technology roadmap set out ambitious milestones for efficiency, and yet we have hit every single one of them,” says Thibaud Le Séguillon, CEO of Heliatek. “Thanks to the close cooperation between our research teams in chemistry and physics, we are now on our path to achieving 15 % efficiency within the next few years.”

Heliatek is currently working on its first roll-to-roll manufacturing line installed in Dresden, Germany, to go in production in the third quarter of 2012. It has also kicked off a third financing round to raise €60 million from current and new investors for a new roll-to-roll 75 MWp production line.

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