DRESDEN, Germany — Heliatek has raised €15 million ($19.9 million) from new and existing investors in an extension of its round D funding. The company is in the middle of installing a high volume roll-to-roll manufacturing facility for its HeliaFilm solar film product at its site here and will use the additional funding to accelerate the facility’s completion and speed Heliatek’s worldwide market entry.
HeliaFilm is an ultra-light, flexible photovoltaic film that is typically applied to the exterior of buildings. It is less than 1 mm thick and can be made in 50 percent transparent versions for application over windows. The key ingredient is Heliatek’s organic photovoltaic material, which the company says offers a 13.2 percent cell efficiency (around 6 percent for the transparent version). Heliatek says HeliaFilm is also reliable, degrading less than 10 percent after 3,000 hours at 85°C and 85% relative humidity.
In the manufacturing process, layers of organic molecules are thermally evaporated and then deposited on a PET film in an inert atmosphere without rare or toxic raw materials, complex solvents or high temperatures. Heliatek describes the process as relatively straightforward and low-power compared with cell production based on printed polymers.
HeliaFilm PV cells on the facade of Heliatek’s headquarters in Dresden.
Heliatek’s original round D was completed in September 2016 and raised roughly $106 million, comprising about $55.7 million in equity, $26.5 million in debt, and $24 million in subsidies. This round was intended to finance the new roll-to-roll manufacturing capacity, which will be capable of producing 1 million square meters of HeliaFilm annually when fully ramped up.
Among the new investors in Heliatek is an unidentified Hong Kong-based family office that holds an interest in a Xiamen, China-based touch solution manufacturer. An unidentified German family holding with experience in the materials industry also joined the funding round. The new investors join AQTON SE, BASF, BNP-Paribas, eCapital, Engie, Innogy, IRTF, and Wellington Partners.
— Sally Ward-Foxton is a European correspondent for EE Times.