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Our technology: organic photovoltaics (OPV)

Organic photovoltaics (OPV) uses materials from the field of organic chemistry to convert sunlight into electrical energy. In a way, OPV is the “brother” of the now widely established Organic LED (OLED) technology that uses organic chemistry materials to convert electricity into light. The counterparts of OPV and OLED are the established PV and LED technologies, built around inorganic materials, such as silicon in the conventional PV. The physical principle how sunlight is converted in electricity is identical to the organic and inorganic technologies, but the main difference is in the materials themselves. Inorganic materials often contain of toxic substances, are increasingly subject to scarcity concerns, and in general are very hard to dispose of in an environmentally friendly way. On the other hand, organic materials and in particular the ones that Heliatek has invented, are not toxic, comprise of extremely abundant naturally occurring elements, and are very easy to dispose at the end-of-life in an environmentally friendly way. 

The materials of the organic solar stack developed by Heliatek are particularly innovative and are protected by Heliatek’s comprehensive IP portfolio. The organic stack in our solar films consists of many individual layers but has a total thickness of only less than a thousandth of a millimeter. As a result, our solar films have unique properties: They are ultra-light, flexible, ultra-thin, and truly green. This makes them the perfect choice for all surfaces and applications where conventional PV modules do not fit, additional cost for mounting structures is required or building codes do not allow it.

Organic photovoltaics unlock new possibilities for building owners, building management companies and solar installers to enable an acceleration of the transformation to net-zero energy buildings and carbon neutral economies. Unlike most inorganic technologies, Heliatek’s OPV is not limited by the basic properties of the semiconductor material. On the contrary, OPV is like a toolbox with a growing variety of materials having specific combinations of properties. This will continue to unlock additional applications by further increasing the efficiency but also in terms of the variety of designs (different colors and even transparency). 

Technological progress and patents

Organic photovoltaics is the next-generation PV technology, and we are the globally recognized leader in this field. We take solar energy to a new level of deployment through our specialist expertise. Thus, we have developed a new triple stack cell layout to capture maximum sunlight (visible light, infrared light and ultraviolet light) for electricity generation. Building on our more than 300 patents for materials, processes, and products, we will continue to drive innovation in the future. Among these are the patents for our organic absorber molecules which have unique efficiency properties and also the protection for our proprietary production processes.

HeliaSol Design

  1. Carrier film with a vapor deposited organic stack
  2. Encapsulation to protect the organic stack against environmental influences
  3. Integrated backside adhesive
  4. Junction box with cables

Future potential

With HeliaSol, our ready-to-use solar film is available now. Of course, we will keep on expanding our "OPV toolbox" towards more versatile, powerful, and ubiquitously applicable solutions for solar energy generation. Additionally, with HeliaFilm, we will be able to offer OPV components to be integrated in construction elements.