Fraunhofer unveils 'foil' PV concept

A novel organic PV 'foil' concept had been unveiled by German research body the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy (ISE), as part of Europe's FabriGen project.

The module, which is 6 meters long and 50 cm wide, is made of flexible solar cells fabricated without high-cost indium-tin-oxide.

FabriGen is targeting so-called architectural fabric applications, in which tensile membrane structures, such as roofs, become power-producing surfaces.

"The focus lies in cost-effectively covering large areas with flexible polymer constructions which cost markedly less than glass," states Birger Zimmermann, team leader for Organic Solar Cells R&D at Fraunhofer ISE.

"By making use of complex structures through membrane design, the area in question can be made as large as possible, thus maximising the solar gain. At the same time, transport and installation costs are kept low due to the light weight of the structure."

The new-look PV was fabricated using the roll-to-roll process.

FabriGen, a joint effort between six partners from four different countries, was spearheaded by Robert Carpenter, managing director of UK organic PV specialist Inside2Outside.

FabriGen is angling at development of modules, with better than 7% efficiency, producing electricity at a levelised cost of energy under€0.10/kWh.