Risø DTU connects polymer solar cells to the grid in "world first"

Risø’s solar energy programme has been conducting research into polymer solar cells - a cheap alternative to existing silicon-based solar cells - and research is now at such an advanced stage that a demonstration plant has been built at Risø DTU.

Risø’s research into solar cells based on polymer materials has had a strong focus on production, demonstration and application, reports the company, and this has led to an demonstration project with Mekoprint A/S and Gaia Solar A/S, in which polymer solar cells have been connected to a grid at Risø.

"The demonstration is an excellent example of how cooperation between research and industry promotes technology development and creates the initial basis for implementing new technology in society," says Henrik Bindslev, Director of Risø DTU.

The polymer solar cells for the solar cell plant have been produced in collaboration with Mekoprint A/S, which specialises in “roll to roll” production of flex-print and printed electronics. After the production of the solar cells – and in collaboration with Gaia Solar A/S - Risø DTU manufactured large panels upon which the solar cells have been mounted. Gaia Solar A / S specialises in module construction of silicon solar cell panels and has built Risø’s polymer solar cells into its own design. The panel is then placed on a tracker which follows the movement of the sun. The generated power is added to the grid.

According to the company, the cost required to generate electricity using the polymer technology has come down  from 22 € / W in January 2009, to 15 € / W in March 2009. And by "the end of 2009 the price is expected to be as little as 4-5 € / W".


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Energy efficiency  •  Green building  •  Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity