G24 Innovations, a developer of 3rd generation dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) has gone into administration. The Cardiff, Wales-based flexible thin-film firm employs 40 people. Administrators are hoping to save the business as a going concern, though did not say whether this would be achievable or whether a buyer would be sought.
The company is aiming to commercialize personalized, portable power for the consumer sector and at the same time has expanded its efforts into the markets for other indoor applications such as energy harvesting for wireless sensors. In that way, G24 Innovations is looking to take advantage of DSSC technology's light weight, flexibility and superior performance in low intensity lighting environments.
The extreme pressure in the photovoltaic marketplace has taken its toll, especially in flexible, thin film PV companies. The examples of Konarka, Flexcell, Energy Conversion Devices and most recently Global Solar have been the most prominent failures. Overcapacity during a period of weak demand and aggressive silicon PV pricing are seen as the principle reasons behind the consolidation that is being witnessed in recent months.
The niche nature of the targeted markets has unfortunately been the main reason why consolidation seems to be hitting flexible thin film PV the hardest: only a few MW of small sized cells are currently being absorbed by the consumer sector and this volume isn't expected to rise dramatically over the next few year. The companies involved in this space also tend to suffer from lifetime and efficiency issues that do not allow them to compete in the large scale PV segments hence, the difficulty in identifying and pursuing sustainable market opportunities.
A relative latecomer to the market, G24 Innovations is attempting to position the company as a provider of bespoke products and has actually marketed a couple of interesting examples, such as the Folio wireless keyboard from Logitech.