Organic Photovoltaics (OPV) isn’t just a technology of the 3rd generation of PV - it is also a WOW technology with unique features, offering unlimited freedom of design.
Multifold integration possibilities can be explored, whether inlay in glass, lamination on different materials or direct integration in products.
From the outer to the inner values: Different unique shapes and looks according to your design match electric customization.
Offering increased production efficiency by low energy consumption during production and short energetic payback time combined with low to no use of rare materials. Further our OPV is proven to be sustainable in terms of carbon footprint as well as end-of-life treatments.
The photovoltaic active base material manufactured by BELECTRIC OVP under the name 'Solarte' is characterized by freedom of design, shape, and material. It is ideally suited for simple integration into applications and products.
In the printed OPV modules, energy is generated by organic carbon-based semiconductors under the influence of light. The solar panels are manufactured according to a cost-efficient printing procedure.
The flexible photovoltaics of the ‘Solarte’ series present completely new possibilities for the integration of energetically active components into architecture and product design.
The range of application options could not be more diverse: The spectrum ranges from energy production for lighting objects, transparent and colored accessories for sport, leisure, and fashion, through to attractive PV surfaces to match the design, or inlays for product integration into all kinds of mobile and stationary applications. Furthermore, the new range also includes products that focus on the architecture sector and offer unprecedented possibilities for energy harvesting in façade design and urban furnishings.
Alongside the new 'Solarte' range, BELECTRIC OPV is also further developing the 'Power Plastic' product line, which is primarily aimed at large-scale industrial applications.
Vic-Montaner and Pau, France and Nuremburg, Germany: Having a superior design while retaining good functionality is visible trend in many industries. However, over the last decade the conventional photovoltaic market has been rushing in a different direction, often ignoring design and aesthetics, leading to photovoltaic installations are either debatable in look or excluded from use in rural and inner-city environments alike. In a complete reversal, as a major step-change in technology, based on tried-and-tested installations at the German Pavilion, EXPO 2015 in Milan, and at the African Union’s building for “Security and Peace” in Addis Ababa, BELECTRIC OPV and its partners, the Communauté des Communes de Vic-Montaner (CCVM), Axess Tech, and the Institut des Sciences Analytiques et de Physico-chimie pour l’Environnement et les Matériaux (IPREM), are proving that things can be done differently: photovoltaics performing as multi-functional components in new buildings and renovations while respectfully adapting to the needs of local aesthetics. The installations will show that OPV can play an important role in delivering safe and reliable clean energy, as well as providing a protective and educative role in supporting our communities and daily lives.
The CCVM is convinced that OPV can be integrated harmoniously and respectfully into the public environment, producing renewable energy and offering shade from sun, rain and hail, in community-scale installations, making it a perfect fit to the weather conditions in south-west France. The CCVM is teaming up with local partners to explore the creation of local industries to deploy these new OPVs in a style that confirms and integrates seamlessly with local needs. The teaming process was led by the IPREM, an institute run by the CNRS and the Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, and involved in OPV research and development, and well placed through its coordination of European networks to access the right partners for this action. Axess tech will play a key role in ensuring the link between Belectric OPV and local artisans by providing advice and technical knowledge, facilitating a transfer of this advanced technology in conformity with French regulations. For OPV components and systems technologies, this group of partners is now joining forces with BELECTRIC OPV, the market leader for OPV projects.
Four initial projects in the communities of: Andrest, Pujo, Sedze-Maubecq, and Vic-en Bigorre are planned. Once feed-back from these communities has been made, follow-up projects in Ponson-Debats-Pouts, Pontiacq-Viellepinte and other villages will be carried out. The range of the projects, from shaded walkways, church-yards, and public shopping malls, will demonstrate the way in which OPV can adapt to local aesthetics and needs. All the projects, despite their being commercial in nature, will be used to train local partners in the deployment of OPV in integrated projects, setting the base for the subsequent creation of an OPV industry based on the distinctive advantages of BELECTRIC OPV’s technology based on a unique manufacturing process, combining printing, lamination and laser structuring technologies, allowing high scalability and the implementation of custom designs. Furthermore BELECTRIC OPV will support its French partners with the integration in the individual projects by means of accompanying system solutions.
“We are proud to be the first communities deploying OPV in integrated fashions in city-centre installations,” says M. Jean-Louis Curret, the President of CCVM. “Moreover, with this first set of projects we are laying the ground-work for an upcoming OPV industry in our region, by means of training our local industries for this new technology.” M. Patrick Baylère, President for Renewable Energies at the CCVM says, “It is remarkable that within a radius of several kilometres we have researchers that are actively giving their knowledge and savoir-faire for the local population and helping Vic-Montaner in becoming a first-class player in renewable energies in France. Accordingly, we are already in the phase of planning follow-up projects on an even larger scale,” he adds.
“Organic Photovoltaics is a key technology for our region and we support this move 200%. Having this technology on our doorstep confirms the IPREM’s key role in OPV research and development,” says Dr. Olivier Donard, Director of the IPREM. Dr. Roger Hiorns, Chargé de Recherche, CNRS says that, “We believe that OPV will play an important role in our energy sourcing of tomorrow. To have these installations near-by will allow us to strengthen our research and development base, testing our materials in a safe and in a real-life environment. This will be directly relevant for future projects and for the education of our students, giving them a good chance to develop high-tech jobs in this region. We’re looking forward to expanding our science education and outreach projects with local communities and schools.”
Dr. Claude Viguier of Axess Tech said, “Axess Tech, with its understanding of the importance of new technologies, electrical installations, and artisanal work will provide a pivotal role in helping incorporate this renewable energy technology into a natural landscape, respecting French values, customs, and local legal needs. We will work closely with Belectric OPV and the IPREM and advise local artisans to ensure that this exciting new technology is implemented safely so that France has a strong implication in this technology.”
“After the installations in Milan and Addis Ababa we are now looking forward to the projects in Vic-Montaner region, showing OPV in direct placement in city-centre environments and in several very innovative integration forms, exemplifying the versatility of our technology. The initial projects with completely different OPV setups will be another proof of the endless possibilities OPV can offer,” comments Mr. Hermann Issa, Director of Business Development and Sales, BELECTRIC OPV. “Furthermore the cooperation with the local partners creates the environment needed for follow-up projects and will be a good opportunity to make OPV installations more widely used in the coming years.”
Merck´s new lisicon formulation enables greater power generation of more than 50 W/m² in semi-transparent Belectric OPV modules
Darmstadt and Nuremberg, Germany, November 26, 2015 – Merck, a leading science and technology company, announced that semi-transparent gray-colored organic photovoltaic (OPV) modules are now available on the market. The new materials, which were successfully developed together with Belectric OPV, were recently presented to the public at the Adaptive Architectures and Smart Materials Conference in Chicago. The showpiece, using gray freeform modules, comprises several laminated glass panes mounted with steel ropes to create a lightweight, curtain-wall-type façade. This offers unlimited design options for modern architectural accents while maintaining transparency and shape.
The modules include Merck’s new lisicon formulation, which achieves superior performance by enabling greater than 50 W/m² power generation in the Belectric OPV modules while remaining semi-transparent. They were optimized and produced in a large-scale production set-up and are ready for commercialization. Merck and Belectric OPV have previously presented the lively blue-colored OPV, which was already used in the installations at the EXPO 2015 at the German Pavilion in Milan, Italy and in the headquarters building of the African Union Security and Peace Council in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. There are many important advantages of OPV technology, especially with respect to building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). OPV modules do not show the performance drop usually observed with traditional inorganic photovoltaics in diffuse lighting conditions and under elevated temperatures – typical conditions found in façades. In addition, semi-transparency and tunable colors as well as freedom of design in shape and form are attractive and often even essential features for BIPV applications.
Brian Daniels, Head of the Advanced Technologies business unit at Merck, says, “From many architects we have learned that a gray color will significantly increase the usage of OPV in building integration. Following the installations at the Expo in Milan, we set an aggressive target to develop such a solution. Achieving the intended color with our partner Belectric OPV in such a short time while also achieving superior performance clearly demonstrates the momentum we are gaining within the OPV industry.” Ralph Pätzold, CEO of Belectric OPV added, “The new gray is a key for the wider adoption of OPV. We are very proud that – in the joint effort with Merck – we could bring the new material to a manufacturing quality in very short time. Now all our partners in the construction material segments can benefit instantly from the new color tone.”
Buildings account for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions in the EU. As a consequence, the EU has set a target for all new buildings to be nearly zero-energy (NZEB) as of 2021. The achievement of the legally binding NZEB objectives will require active building envelopes since passive materials are reaching their own limits. Gray OPV-based active building elements are an important step forward to combine energy generation and the aesthetic needs of architects.
Solar design at the African Union Peace and Security Building in Addis Ababa
Nuremberg, Germany: In collaboration with the leading manufacturer of steel cable and mesh constructions, Carl Stahl Architektur GmbH, and material supplier Merck KGaA, BELECTRIC OPV GmbH has developed for the African Union a unique energy-generating shade sail in the shape of the African continent – which also serves as the logo of the African Union. The active solar shade sail forms the focal point of the new Peace and Security Building of the African Union in Addis Ababa – a project managed by the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH) and implemented with the aid of local construction companies.
The combination of flexible organic solar modules from BELECTRIC OPV GmbH and a stainless steel cable construction from Carl Stahl has allowed the realisation of a solar project of this magnitude for the very first time. The complex system, measuring approx. 25 x 20 metres overall, consists of 445 individual transparent blue modules, using Merck’s lisicon® OPV active material, and held in place by a sophisticated cable mesh construction directly underneath the membrane dome above the Peace and Security Building’s interior. The translucency of the modules makes for approx. 75% light transmission for the overall roof surface. Furthermore, thanks to the OPV modules, the shade sail supplies sufficient electricity to power the LED lighting system inside the building.
The completion of the shade sail as part of the Peace and Security Building means that BELECTRIC OPV has realised its first follow-up project since equipping the German Pavilion at the Expo 2015. As in Milan, the almost unlimited design possibilities offered by the flexible solar cells in the SOLARTE range have also been a convincing factor in Addis Ababa. This flexibility of shape and colour is attributable to the manufacturing process developed by BELECTRIC OPV. Here, printing and coating procedures team up with laser structuring to open up unprecedented options in terms of shape and design. The procedure is highly scalable and is based on classic industrial processes.
“This additional, highly prestigious project finally marks our arrival on the market with our design-oriented photovoltaics for use in the building sector,” Hermann Issa, Director of Business Development and Sales der BELECTRIC OPV, reports. “This project shows once again the varied possibilities offered with regard to design, transparency, flexibility and colour which can be fully developed and implemented by the use of solar modules from BELECTRIC OPV. Thanks to the innovative stainless steel cable mesh products from Carl Stahl, even architectural elements of this size appear weightless and seem to float.”
“Despite the extreme complexity of the project, installation was easy to carry out. Installation scaffolding or hydraulic platforms, such as those generally used to assemble building sections of this size, were not needed for this project. This was due to the extremely light OPV membranes which make construction and installation so quick and easy,” as Luca Casati, head of installation at Carl Stahl and installation supervisor in Addis Ababa, also points out. “The ability to install a system of this size in just five days using mainly local personnel is an indication of the unbelievable potential of combining OPV with steel cable constructions.”
Nuremberg, Germany: The market uptake of customized organic photovoltaic (OPV) products is steadily increasing, with customers representing a variety of industry segments, ranging from small and compact devices for electronics to large formats for building integrated installations. BELECTRIC OPV has brought the usability and acceptance of OPV to a new level by being able to design and manufacture modules in customised shapes and various colours. The customisation of an OPV module not only includes the choice of colour and shape but also involves the tailoring of the device electrical characteristics, such as adjusting voltage level and performance, for the intended usage scenario, e.g. indoor versus outdoor application.
BELECTRIC OPV has invested great effort in the last few years to bring its manufacturing technology to a point that enables the utmost freedom of design. This is achieved by combining freeform laser structuring processes with large-area coating and printing technologies, all of which are based on reliable industrial processes leading to a robust production process as well as easy and cost-effective scalability. The results of these developments have been demonstrated at the German Pavilion at the World EXPO 2015 in Milan, where BELECTRIC and its project partners have installed an OPV system comprising hexagonal modules with a cell layout designed to be aesthetically pleasing. To make such an offering more easily accessible to its customers, BELECTRIC OPV has now revealed a newly-developed design tool, called “Design-2-Module” configurator, which enables the conversion of a customer’s own specifications into a module layout including all relevant technical design parameters by means of computer optimization and automated CAD output. The D2M tool also simultaneously generates all the necessary technical input files for each production process step. Accordingly, the time and effort needed to convert a customer specification into a full set of production data can be greatly reduced. The time-to-market of a customized design is, therefore, no longer dominated by the work spent on module layouts. Furthermore, this tool is capable of grouping different module types onto a single roll of flexible substrate due to the harmonisation and standardisation of design rules. In turn, the time needed to produce also small series of customised products is reduced whilst the economics of such products are increased.
”Offering improved access and maximum benefit to the customer is a clear target of our internal developments”, comments Hermann Issa (Director Business Development and Sales, BELECTRIC OPV). “We are constantly benchmarking ourselves on how we deal with the customisation of our products. After being able to offer fully customer-specific modules, we also wanted to further reduce the barrier for adopting OPV in integrated products.” Mr. Issa adds: “With the addition of the Design-2-Module tool and the developments made for the EXPO project in terms of systemisation, we are now able to deliver complete OPV systems and not only a set of components. These competencies aid us with the integration of OPV into existing or newly developed products.”
Design-2-Module is part of BELECTRIC OPV’s general approach to make OPV accessible to different markets and suitable for different requirements by combining developments all along the value chain, including a manufacturing process that now also facilitates customer involvement.
“With Design-2-Module we have enhanced customer participation and reduced module design turnaround time to meet the demands of the fast-paced consumer electronics market. Now we are working on the implementation of the D2M tool into a web-based application. The current version of the web interface enables you to place your specification by choosing the power output and electrical contacting as well as uploading your desired module shape. After the specifications are processed in house, you will receive the module layout together with a quote. In the next version we will integrate our D2M tool directly into the web interface, so that you can order immediately after you have approved the module layout and performance tailored to your specifications online. We are not yet there, but the most important step has been made”, stated Dr Ralph Paetzold (CEO BELECTIC OPV). “Furthermore, customisation for us does not necessarily correspond to a certain understanding of high or low volume. Especially if customers want large volumes, they are less likely to accept a standard. Therefore, it is important that the manufacturing process can bundle and handle various order volumes in order to take advantage of economy of scale. By using Design-2-Module we are now able to combine most of our volumes, all the rest is now just logistics.”
Nuremberg/Leverkusen, Germany: The ability to produce organic photovoltaic (OPV) products in various shapes and colors has been illustrated by BELECTRIC OPV at the German Pavilion at the International EXPO in Milan, Italy. The large OPV surfaces are integrated into tree-like structures creating a big canopy over the pavilion. The effect is an attractive, futuristic architecture that generates electricity. This way OPV can energize almost any surface.
Heraeus, a partner of BELECTRIC OPV in development of organic photovoltaics, plays a key role in BELECTRIC’s innovative technology through the supply of vital components. Clevios™ conductive polymer materials based on PEDOT:PSS provide the hole-transport layer, and low temperature SOL silver pastes serve as the electrode in the devices. Both materials are processed by roll-to-roll coating and printing so providing high throughput at low cost. The mutually beneficial cooperation between BELECTRIC OPV and Heraeus on new materials and processes to improve the viability of OPV even further demonstrates the positive impact along the supply chain. Using state-of-the-art materials in combination with innovative wet-coating based manufacturing processes, BELECTRIC OPV is able to supply the market with customized, aesthetically pleasing OPV solutions.
Heraeus, a leading supplier of metallization pastes used in crystalline silicon PV solar cells, is expanding its product range to include next generation PV technologies with low temperature silver pastes along with OPV grades of Clevios™ PEDOT based conductive polymers. Clevios™ is already extensively used in antistatic, touch sensor and emerging OLED applications. Heraeus has ton-scale production capacity for these materials.
”Open innovation approaches, like the joint-development effort together with Heraeus for example, is part of our R&D strategy”, reveals Andreas Distler (Head of R&D, BELECTRIC OPV). “In order to bring OPV technology to its best, it is important that a holistic development approach is applied throughout the whole device architecture and the manufacturing process.” This also adds to the great potential for scalability of printed OPV manufacturing. Armin Sautter, (Manager at Heraeus New Businesses) stated: “Heraeus has over 45 years’ experience in the development thick film metallization pastes and conductive polymers. Partnerships with new technology leaders, such as BELECTRIC, who provideunlimited shapes, colours and even flexibility, is an entirely new dimension for PV technology. BELECTRIC OPV’s vision for photovoltaics is consistent with ours - using technology and innovation to achieve sustainable green energy.”
About Heraeus: Heraeus, the technology group headquartered in Hanau, Germany, is a leading international family-owned company formed in 1851. We create high-value solutions for our customers, strengthening their competitiveness for the long term. Our activities focus on a number of markets: chemical and metals, energy and the environment, communications and electronics, health, mobility, and industrial applications. In fiscal year 2013, Heraeus achieved product revenue of €3.6 billion and precious metals trading revenue of €13.5 billion. With some 12,500 employees in over 110 subsidiaries worldwide, Heraeus holds a leading position in its global markets.
For additional technical information, please contact:
Heraeus Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG
John Bayley, Marketing CleviosTM
Business Line Display and Semiconductor, Building B202, Chempark, 51368 Leverkusen, Germany
Email: email@example.com, Internet: www.clevios.com
About the German Pavilion Participants: The Organic Photovoltaic Technology Consortium (ARGE OPV) is the partner network for the development and installation of the organic photovoltaic technology in the German pavilion. The ARGE OPV is made up of the companies BELECTRIC OPV, Carl Stahl GmbH, Hager SE, U.I. Lapp GmbH, Merck KGaA and Schmidhuber. The project is being supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The design, planning and realization of the German Pavilion have been taken on by the German Pavilion Expo 2015 Milan Consortium (ARGE), made up of Schmidhuber, Milla & Partner and Nüssli Deutschland.
Darmstadt, Germany, May 07, 2015: The German Pavilion at EXPO 2015 in Milan has integrated a new solar cell technology into architecture: flexible organic photovoltaics (OPV). With its innovative materials, Merck is providing the key active component of the so-called solar trees that feature this new technology. Visitors to the World Expo, which opened in May, can experience the energy-efficient modules that have been integrated into stylized trees. The futuristic plants are a central design element of the German Pavilion. They symbolize idea seedlings, thus embodying the pavilion’s name "Fields of Ideas". Germany is presenting itself as a vital, fertile landscape filled with ideas to nourish the future. The power-generating OPV modules in the solar trees are produced with printable formulations of modern high-performance polymers that Merck offers under the lisicon® brand name. The blue color of the hexagonal OPV modules comes from Merck materials. They convert the incident light into charge carriers that can be collected in order to generate electricity. The integrated OPV system is being realized by a network of partners: the Organic Photovoltaic Technology Consortium (ARGE OPV) – consisting of the companies Belectric OPV, Carl Stahl, Hager SE as well as U.I. Lapp, Merck, and Schmidhuber – with support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.Brian Daniels, Head of the Advanced Technologies business unit at Merck, is delighted by the attention the future technology has attracted in Milan: “Organic photovoltaics is one of our key growth platforms, in which we develop innovative materials for the cost-effective production of flexible, printed solar panels. These panels are not only efficient and long-lived, but also beautiful for architectural applications. The solar trees at the Expo in Milan are a great example of how these features inspire architects for smart buildings with energizing facades. OPV has the potential to change modern city life. With OPV we can attach single solar-farms to each building so that the countryside can be used to producing food or remain beautifully natural. This ties in perfectly with the theme of the Expo, which is ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’”.
New solar cell technology offers many impressive advantages
Organic photovoltaic films have several advantages over conventional silicon cells. Photoactive organic materials are printed in extremely thin layers on transparent plastic film. The patented special inks used in printing consist of formulated blends of materials which after coating create electricity when exposed to light. This technology allows lightweight and flexible semi-transparent modules. As a result, they can be used on all kinds of surfaces. In Germany alone, it is estimated that around 2 to 3 billion square meters of façades and roofs could be equipped with these types of solar panels. A further key advantage is that the modules generate relatively constant output, for instance even if it is cloudy or artificial light is being used. In addition, they can be produced in different colors and thus adapted to the surroundings. This is a property that creates new possibilities, particularly for building design. The cost-effective production of the OPV modules is also advantageous. Since these polymer materials can be processed as liquid solutions, they are suitable for multiple printing processes: spin coating, ink-jet printing or roll-to-roll processing such as gravure and flexographic printing. In contrast to many other polymers for OPV, the materials from Merck can be coated from non-halogenated solvents without any detriment to performance. This minimizes the environmental impact during production and thus corresponds entirely to the concept of green energy generation.
Under the motto “Energizing SurFaces Power Modern Life” the partners of the Organic Photovoltaic Technology Consortium (ARGE OPV) will held an exclusive event with experts from the OPV scene. It will take place at the German Pavilion on June 8, 2015 in Milan. As a key-note speaker Lennart Wiechell from SCHMIDHUBER, the architect of the German Pavilion, will share his insights and vision about energizing potentials of the OPV technology in modern and sustainable architecture.
Journalists that are interested to report on the new technology can receive an invitation. Please get in contact with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
A COMPANY FULL OF ENERGY
BELECTRIC OPV GmbH, founded 2013, is part of the Belectric group and situated in Nuremberg (R&D) and Kitzingen (Manufacturing Center at INNOPARK Kitzingen). BELECTRIC OPV develops and manufactures organic solar cells and focuses on the commercialization of customized OPV solutions. The company belongs to BELECTRIC group (www.belectric.com), which is one of the world’s most successful companies in the development and construction of ground-mounted solar power plants and photovoltaic roof systems. BELECTRIC is represented worldwide. Its position as a world leader in technology is the result of a high degree of vertical integration in the development and manufacturing processes. A belief in the compatibility of economic and ecological interests has always been the basis for the sustainable success. More than 120 active patents are a testament to BELECTRIC’s innovative spirit.
With our team of scientists, engineers and manufacturing experts we create customized OPV solutions for your application according to your requirements and thus make full use of the intrinsic advantages OPV offers.
Your requirements are our driving force!
Get in contact with BELECTRIC OPV
BELECTRIC OPV GmbH
Phone: +49 (0) 911-21780-0
Fax: +49 (0) 911-21780-10
BELECTRIC OPV GmbH
Steigweg 24, Building 12
Further information at www.innopark-kitzingen.de