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Organic solar cells set to improve PV performance and cut costs

Belgium project to develop cost-effective tandem organic solar cells

Imec's research and development aims to improve solar cell technology
Imec's research aims to develop cost-effective advanced solar cell technology

Belgium’s Imec and 16 project partners have launched the European FP7 project X10D, which aims to develop tandem organic solar cells with an increased conversion efficiency and lifetime, and a decreased production cost

The ultimate goal of the X10D project is to bring organic photovoltaic technologies (OPV) towards introduction into the competitive thin-film PV market, Imec says. “Organic solar cells hold the promise of low-cost production and high throughput, both essential parameters for the uptake of a new technology by the PV industry.”

Current OPV technologies are unstable when exposed to the ambient environment, plus power conversion efficiencies are not sufficient to be viable alternatives to the current dominating silicon photovoltaic technologies.

“By applying new designs and architectures, materials and manufacturing technologies, the X10D project aims at increasing the power conversion efficiency to achieve at least a 12 per cent on cell level (1cm²), and per cent on module level (100 cm²),” says the company. “Moreover, the X10D project has set its goal to guarantee a minimum of 20 years lifetime for OPV modules on glass, and 10 years on foil, and to decrease the cost below EUR 0.70W peak.”

X10D gathers the available OPV knowledge and expertise from leading universities, research institutes, and companies in Europe. Each segment of the value chain is represented in the project: materials development and up-scaling, device development and up-scaling, large-area deposition equipment and processes, novel transparent conductors, laser scribing equipment and processes, encapsulation technologies, energy, life-cycle, and cost analysis and finally end-users.