Thanks to technology from Heliatek, windows can be transformed into energy harvesters. According to the company, its transparent solar films can be integrated between the glass sheets of double glazed windows. The windows would look like tinted glass as the vapor deposition technology for the solar films allows for a homogeneous coating of the solar layer without any distracting patterns or irregularities. Heliatek is currently working with glass and other building material manufacturers to include its solar film technology in their products.
Heliatek’s ultra-thin solar films are perfect for integrating between glass. The transparency level and the color can be tuned to suit various requirements. Measurements by SGS, an accredited and independent testing facility, have confirmed that Heliatek’s lab cells offer an efficiency of 7% at a light transmission level of 23.5%. The company can currently produce a transparency level of up to 40% in its laboratories. Heliatek believes it is possible to increase this to 50% when the transparent solar films will be supplied to the building industry with the launch of the next production line in 2014.
SGS had previously confirmed in another measurement campaign the low light and high temperature performance of Heliatek’s cells compared to traditional solar technologies. At an irradiation of only 100 W/m² the efficiency is 15% higher compared to the standard efficiency measured at 1,000 W/m². The cell efficiency also remains constant with rising temperatures in contrast to traditional solar technology, which efficiency drops by 15% to 20% at elevated temperatures.
The key to Heliatek’s organic solar film technology is oligomers, which are small organic molecules developed and synthesized at in their lab. Heliatek is the only solar company in the world that uses the deposition of small organic molecules in a low temperature, roll-to-roll vacuum process. Its solar tandem cells are made of nanometers-thin layers of high purity and uniformity. This enables the company to literally engineer the cell architecture to systematically improve efficiency and lifespan. This technology is very similar to the well-established OLED technology (organic LEDs) except that it operates in reverse, taking in light to create electricity. This gives Heliatek access to readily available manufacturing machines, giving it a fast track to reliable, volume production.
More info: Heliatek GmbH