LONDON – Heliatek has begun building its first
production facility for organic solar cells with support from FHR Anlagenbau
GmbH, a vendor of vacuum process technology tools.
Heliatek GmbH (Dresden, Germany) is planning to be
the world's first manufacturer of organic, oligomer-based solar cells. FHR has
developed a foil coating system to allow a production line for organic solar
cells that requires a small footprint. The company is planning to make flexible
photovoltaic modules on that weigh 500 grams per square meter, instead of
today's customary 20-kg per square meter for silicon-based solar cells.
Heliatek and FHR plan to have the manufacturing
facility set up by mid 2011 and the first solar cells to be produced with the foil
coating system are expected to be available at the start of 2012.
"Organic photovoltaic is a new business area for
FHR and our roll-to-roll systems," said Reinhard Fendler, managing
director of FHR, in a statement issued by Heliatek.
The manufacturing facility is being built in
Dresden, close to the A4 highway and only 15 minutes from the airport. With a
floor space of about 1,700 square meters, it provides space for offices, production
as well as research.
Formed in 2006 as a spin-off from the Universities
of Dresden and Ulm, Heliatek develops organic solar cells from small molecule
organic dyes that are chemically synthesized from hydrocarbons. The company
raised $27 million late in 2009 to fund its manufacturing plans.