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Heliatek makes its first PV installation in China

18 Dec 2014

Claims "world’s first" BIOPV concrete façade installation in Pudong; also planning new pilot line in Germany.

Heliatek, based in Dresden, Germany, a developer of organic photovoltaics, has announced that it has delivered its first batch of building-integrated OPV solar films to a client in China.

The HeliaFilms have been installed at Reckli China in PuDong, Shanghai. The power-generating films were integrated directly on to concrete façade elements provided by Reckli, a long-term strategic business partner of Heliatek, creating what the developers are calling “the world’s first BIOPV concrete façade installation”.

The Reckli China office was chosen for installing the first HeliaFilm concrete façade on east-, west- and south-facing façades in order to demonstrate the harvesting factor under various mounting conditions that often occur in real-world BIPV applications.

The power generated by each façade is being individually monitored for comparison purposes. The installed capacity of around 20m2 amounts to 0.62 kWp and the generated energy is used internally.

Heliatek has been working closely with several renowned industrial partners to develop the different integrated building materials. HeliaFilm is now being marketed in conjunction with different building materials including glass, concrete and PVC membranes. Reckli and Heliatek agreed to develop this “green” building solution based on a combination of HeliaFilm and structured matrices of concrete, with the aim of using the building envelopes to generate power.

Dr. Bernd Trompeter, managing director of Reckli GmbH, commented, “Heliatek’s OPV technology works perfectly in combination with the concrete façade application for BiPV, since it is ultra-light, thin and highly efficient. The harvesting power remains strong even under suboptimal light and temperature conditions. Thus the film can be directly attached to the concrete and no extra cooling or ventilation system is needed.”

Dr. Thomas Bickl, Heliatk’s VP Sales & Marketing, added, “With this BiPV solution, the CO2 balance will be favourably increased, without neglecting aesthetic aspects. This pioneering installation will set the precedent for similar BIOPV installations around the world to achieve the requirements for carbon neutral buildings that are self sufficient in generating their own power requirements.”

Proposed new pilot line

Heliatk recently made a presentation at the Photonics Pilot Line Workshop, organised by Photonics21 in mid-November in Brussels, which included several presentations on the upcoming photonics call on pilot lines in the photonics domain and presentations on several existing pilot lines.

Thibaud Le Séguillon, Heliatek’s CEO presented the case for the company’s proposed OPV pilot production. He gave the Workshop details of the company’s planned “Gen5 R2R Pilot Line”, which, if funded, would include:

  • 1.2m-wide PET-substrate roll - now the required industry standard
  • Linear sources with low temperature vacuum deposition
  • “New encapsulation concept”
  • Vacuum roll coater integrating organic multilayer deposition, metal deposition, lasering and first encapsulation

Le Séguillon commented, “Heliatek is well positioned to successfully demonstrate Gen5. It represents a major technological step with a high risk–high reward profile. Gen5 requires a budget of about €65 million investment over a 36-month period. The amount of private equity available to the Gen5 pilot line project is quite limited due to its “first in kind” risk profile.” He concluded, “R&D funding is inevitable for this project to bridge this valley of death.”

The workshop participants exchanged lessons learned from their existing pilot lines experiences and discussed how the requirement for open access could be addressed, how the pilot lines can support the industrialization of such production processes and how synergies with regional funding can be achieved.

Other pilot line presentations were made by: Lab4MEMS-II – a pilot line for innovative technologies on micro-optical MEMS, micro-mirrors and pico-projectors, by Roberto Zafalon, of ST Microelectronics, Italy; and Compound Semiconductor Production in Wales, by Iwan Davis, of IQE.

About the Author

Matthew Peach is contributing editor to optics.org.

Delta Optical Thin Film A/SSchaefter und Kirchhoff GmbHScitec Instruments LtdDiffraction InternationalBRD Optical Co., LtdSpectrum Scientific Inc. -  SSI OpticsCobolt AB
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