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New Energy Technologies and NREL produce large organic solar PV device

New Energy Technologies Inc and scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have produced what they call the “largest-area” organic photovoltaic (OPV) solar module ever produced at NREL.

By Kari Williamson

The OPV solar module is 170 cm2 – more than 14-times larger than previous OPV devices fabricated at NREL.

NREL and New Energy have been working through a cooperative research and development agreement to advance New Energy's SolarWindow technology for generating electricity on see-through glass windows.

"The fabrication of a large-area see-through solar module of these dimensions is an important step in New Energy's SolarWindow ongoing development," says NREL Research Fellow Dr David S. Ginley. "We believe that building integrated applications provide a promising avenue for OPV deployment and we are continuing to work with New Energy Technologies to further address scale-up, a key milestone toward developing a deployable technology."

John A. Conklin, President and CEO of New Energy Technologies Inc, adds: “In 2012, our focus is on aggressively advancing our SolarWindow technology towards commercialisation with larger scale, high-speed manufacturing, higher voltage and bolstered power output, and greater transparency."

The technology

Working at lab scale, scientists made use of a solution-processable coating technique in order to deposit see-through electricity-generating coatings on to glass surfaces.

The electricity-generating coatings, consisting largely of 'polymers', are first designed and subsequently produced by way of organic synthesis. They are then applied to glass using various methods, including high-speed, high-volume industrial processes.

Once electricity-generating polymers are applied to a material surface, the resultant effect is the production of an OPV solar cell.

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Photovoltaics (PV)