If eight18 is able to produce the solar cells at a cheap rate, more companies in emerging economies will be able to use the technology in their products. This gives more families a chance to get access to electricity like they normally would not.
Shawn - http://www.hammerplastics.com
Claiming to be the lead developer of organic solar cell technology takes a lot of guts, and it will only be possible for us to see with time whether they live up to these claims as the industry for solar and other replacement energy sources heats up.
Matt - http://www.eezytrade.co.uk
10% vs. 27% efficiency! So even if the price of the commercial printed plastic solar cells is one-third of that of an semiconductor solar cell, it doesn’t make much sense if there are no other benefits...what are those?
Organic Solar has been researched for well over a decade and only in the last 12 months has a 10% conversion efficiency been demonstrated. Global Photonic Energy is a company for example that has focused solely on this area and which has over 400 patents in this field including many which are fundamental in achieving these high efficiencies necessary for commercialization. This technology will fill many niche markets such as the replacement for kerosene lanterns, and including charging batteries for other uses. They are not as efficient as silicon based cells but they are much lighter weight (portability), flexible, can be transparent, and are thus easy to transport and install in remote off grid areas. The flexibility allows for roll to roll manufacturing, which will bring down costs. Recently developed encapsulation materials and processes will prevent any deterioration due to exposure to air and water (the enemy of hydro-carbon based materials). It can even be sprayed onto a surface like a car body or window and provided the contacts are there to process the electrons that are produced, you have potential large new source of energy. Many other companies are researching this area and developing patents as well such as Plextronics, Heliotek, Konarka, LG, Apple and Samsung are researching jointly, BASF, Applied Materials, DuPont.
According to the company web site, the power conversion efficiency reported for solar cells based on organic semiconductors already exceeds 10%. Compared it to that from "common solar cell" which exceeds 27% today, what would be the target price that will make the product justified? The organic nature of the technology may actually help the argument. I am really interested in learning about about the environment impact.