The largest-area organic photovoltaic (OPV) module ever produced at the United States Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has been developed that is capable of generating electricity on see-through glass.
Scientists developing New Energy's SolarWindow(TM) technology with NREL fabricated the large area 170 square centimeters (cm2) working module, more than 14-times larger than previous OPV devices fabricated at NREL.
NREL is among the world's most respected and advanced solar-photovoltaic research institutions, and over its 35-year history has been credited for ground-floor support of many of the commercial technologies employed by today's renewable energy industries.
"The fabrication of a large-area see-through solar module of these dimensions is an important step in New Energy's SolarWindow(TM) ongoing development," stated Dr. David S. Ginley, an award-winning NREL Research Fellow and accomplished expert in transparent conductors and OPV. "We believe that building integrated applications provide a promising avenue for OPV deployment and we are continuing to work with New Energy Technologies to further address scale-up, a key milestone toward developing a deployable technology."
Working at lab scale, scientists made use of a solution-processable coating technique in order to deposit see-through electricity-generating coatings on to glass surfaces.
These electricity-generating coatings, consisting largely of 'polymers', are first designed and subsequently produced by way of organic synthesis; they are then applied to glass using various methods, including high-speed, high-volume industrial processes important to the eventual commercial manufacturing of SolarWindow(TM) products. Once electricity-generating polymers are applied to a material surface, the resultant effect is the production of an OPV cell.
Last month, New Energy announced that researchers had investigated and made use of a high-speed/large-area solution-coating process, which allows for rapid scale-up to larger glass surface areas. This improved process also generally provides for more uniform and faster application of SolarWindow(TM) electricity-generating coatings than conventional methods, and has resulted in the production of the Company's new, large-area SolarWindow(TM) prototype.
Notably, the Company's latest solution-coating technique has already been demonstrated as compatible with roll-to-roll high-speed and high-volume fabrication methods, potentially providing for very-large scale manufacturing. Compared to manufacturing of first-generation solar products, low temperature and ambient pressure R2R manufacturing promises: low labor costs; decreased capital equipment expenditure; reduced cost of energy required for production; and improved environmental and occupational control.
Currently under development for eventual commercial deployment in the estimated 85 million commercial buildings and homes in America, SolarWindow(TM) is the subject of ten new patent filings and is the world's first-of-its-kind technology capable of generating electricity on see-through glass windows.
For additional information visit:www.newenergytechnologiesinc.com .
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