Solar Press and KROENERT have partnered to develop and sell turn-key manufacturing for Solar Press’ organic photovoltaic (OPV) modules. The approach could make for low-cost, quickly manufactured OPV modules, becoming one of the earlier companies to bring OPV technologies out on a commercial scale.
The partnership will help London-based Solar Press make low-cost, light weight and flexible solar cells by essentially printing them on surfaces. As such manufacturing facilities could be established quickly in various parts of the world, near where the OPV devices are being used.
“KROENERT offers world class coating and printing production equipment that is ideally suited to volume OPV production,” said Chris Harris, CEO of Solar Press. “Our partnership agreement represents an important step in building the necessary eco-system of partners to bring about the delivery of turn-key production systems for manufacturing OPV modules using Solar Press’ proprietary production process and ink formulations.”
Under the partnership Solar Press will develop and optimize its production process and ink formulations to ready its OPV product for commercial manufacture. The devices will be made using Germany-based KROENERT’s production coating and printing equipment. For its part, KROENERT will modify and optimize its printing and manufacturing hardware to help maximize the Solar Press’s modules.
While many companies are working on OPVs few, if any are ready for market. One company, Nanosolar, has been producing nano-ink-based PVs but thus far it has not ramped up to full production.
The idea behind OPVs is that they’re easy to produce and use organic compounds which are readily available and not toxic like certain chemicals in thin-film photovoltaics. They can also be produced at room temperatures and in conditions that don’t require high-vacuum environments or other expensive equipment. However, most OPV are lower in efficiency than than commercial PV. And most have degraded quickly, while commercial PV is designed to last 20 or more years, most OPV lasts a few years before degrading. If Solar Press has solved these issues, it could produce some of the least expensive solar available.
Thus far it looks like the company is moving in the right direction. “Solar Press have impressed us with their vision and the progress they have made towards delivering a commercially viable OPV production process and ink formulations. In partnership with Solar Press we can offer a turn-key OPV production solution that minimizes the investment required by customers wishing to manufacture OPV modules and products,” said KROENERT’s Sales Director of New Products Frank Schaefer.