Heliatek, AGC Sign Development Agreement to Integrate Organic Solar Films in Glass to Collect Solar Energy


Posted on September 30, 2013 @ 12:10 am



Heliatek GmbH has signed a joint development agreement with AGC Glass Europe, European branch of AGC, the world's largest producer of flat glass, already active in traditional BIPV. The agreement is focused on researching and developing the integration of glass and solar films, targeting the delivery of integrated solutions for the glass envelope of buildings.

This will enable the entire glass façades of buildings, including windows, to become highly efficient, cost-effective, solar energy harvesters to reduce a building's carbon footprint combined with a discrete, aesthetically-pleasing, visual appearance.

Heliatek's award-winning, Solar Films are ideally suited to this application because they can be opaque or semi-transparent in a variety of colors.

The films are ultra-light, ultra-thin and highly efficient under real world conditions, thanks to three unique features. They harvest the sun's energy at peak efficiency for longer daytime periods than traditional solar technologies: from full sun down to a tenth of full sun, such as on a cloudy day. In addition, they can operate efficiently in any orientation, even when not directly facing the sun and only receiving indirect or diffused light. Finally, their performance remains stable up to 80°C.

"Once developed, this will open up all vertical glass surfaces for PV,” said Thibaud Le Séguillon, CEO of Heliatek. “They offer a much larger installation area than roof tops that are the focus of today's solar building installations, plus there are no additional installations costs unlike conventional PV panels."

"This agreement fits in perfectly with our strategy of providing affordable and environment-friendly glass solutions to our customers, the building industry and the community at large,” Marc Van Den Neste, CTO of AGC Glass Europe, added. “I am confident that this solution will open up new prospects for creativity and energy efficiency to architects and designers."

"Together, we understand and will meet the building industry requirements as well as the needs of the architects and end-users regarding reliability, life-expectancy and return-on-investment," Alexander Valenzuela, vice president business at Heliatek, concluded.

The ultra-thin Solar Films by Heliatek lend themselves perfectly to the integration between glass panes. The transparency level as well as the color can be tuned to suit the customers' requirements. Measurements by SGS, an accredited and independent testing facility, have confirmed that Heliatek's lab cells offer an efficiency of 7.5% at a light transmission level of 30%. Currently, the company can produce a transparency level just above 40% in its laboratories in Dresden, Germany.

The key to Heliatek's success is the family of small organic molecules - oligomers - developed and synthesized at its own lab in Ulm, Germany. Heliatek is the only solar company in the world that uses the deposition of small organic molecules in a low temperature, roll-to-roll vacuum process. Its solar tandem cells are made of nanometers-thin layers of high purity and uniformity. This enables the company to literally engineer the cell architecture to systematically improve efficiency and lifespan.

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