We are absolutely sure that you know a lot about photovoltaics. We are used to seeing them on roofs or solar farms. Those photovoltaic panels are made of inorganic materials. More specifically, they are usually made of silicon. However, other type of photovoltaic panel is available. They are called organic PV. Heliatek is one of the main companies that are developing organic PV, and they have recently set a new efficiency record using organic PV.
New record in organic PV by Heliatek
First of all, it would be a great idea to talk about organic PV. As you can imagine, they rely on organic compounds that have some slight disadvantages: they tend to degrade in the light and their efficiency is really low (or it used to be). However, they have amazing advantages: they are really cheap to manufacture in a continuous process using common printing solutions, they have a low environmental impact, they have semitransparency properties and they are light and flexible. With these outstanding skills, they can be used in a big range of applications apart from buildings. For instance, they could be implemented in the growing sector of wereables. You can find more information about organic and inorganic PV here.
But as we have mentioned, their efficiency is really low. Researchers from Heliatek, one of the most important companies manufacturing organic PV, have set a new record in efficiency. The record was achieved using an organic PV multi-junction cell. The conversion efficiency obtained was 13.2%. A common photovoltaic cell has an efficiency about 16 to 17%. Although further research studies have been done to improve this value.
Heliatek has improved the efficiency from the original 3% to the current 13% over the last 10 years. The result further validates Heliatek’s unique technology approach of using vacuum deposition of small molecules on plastic films.
We are very proud of this new world record. This success is based on our chemical research for new organic absorber materials. Key to this success is the close cooperation of our physics and chemistry R&D teams, which leads to an optimal combination of the properties of this new solar cell design.