MANHASSET, NY -- Europe’s Imec research consortium (Leuven, Belgium) and 16 project partners have launched the European FP7 project X10D to bring organic photovoltaic technologies as competitive commercial alternatives to thin-film photovoltaic technologies.
The project is aimed at developing tandem organic solar cells with increased conversion efficiency and lifetime, and a decreased production cost.
Organic solar cells hold the promise of low-cost production and high throughput. Today OPV technologies are unstable when exposed to the ambient environment, and their power conversion efficiencies are not sufficient to be viable alternatives to the current dominating silicon photovoltaic technologies.
The X10D project hopes to increase the power conversion efficiency of OPVs to at least 12 percent for 1cm sq. cells and to 9 percent for 100 cm.sq. modules.
The X10D project’s goal is to guarantee a minimum of 20 years lifetime for OPV modules on glass, and 10 years on foil, and to decrease the cost below 0.70 €/Watt-peak (about $1/Watt-peak).
X10D’s OPV expertise includes contributors in each segment of the value chain: materials development and up-scaling; device development and up-scaling; large-area deposition equipment and processes; novel transparent conductors[ laser scribing equipment and processes; encapsulation technologies; energy, life-cycle, and cost analysis; and end-users.
Imec, the X10D project coordinator, is collaborating with Europe’s large energy entities. The project is partly funded by the European Commission.
Once organic PV cell technology is perfected, the potential exists for it to be scaled to huge production volumes. If it also avoids the need for rare earth / limited availability materials then prices might come way below current costs. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the production systems could grow PV as needed?