A new efficiency record for organic photovoltaic cells has been reached by Heliatek, for the third time in a row. The German company created a cheap solar cell that can convert up to 9.8 percent of the incoming light into electricity.
Heliatek’s new solar cell is made from oligomers, and differs from polymer and dye-sensitized solar cells because the cells can be produced at low temperatures and uses the least amount of non-toxic materials.
The process Heliatek uses to produce its efficient organic solar cells applies a thin substrate of molecules using evaporation, rather than printing. This leads to the possibility of fabricating flexible solar cells that can be embedded in anything from clothes to building materials. A similar method is already an industry standard and is being applied by OLED (organic LED) manufacturers.
A 10 percent efficiency is envisioned for next year, together with raising 50 million euros in new capital for expanding the production capacity to the existing one.
Although, for the moment, Heliatek’s solar cells can’t be compared in terms of efficiency with silicon solar cells, for example, they’re cheap to manufacture and more environmentally-friendly.