TECHNOLOGY

Organic Photovoltaics (OPV) isn’t just a technology of the 3rd generation of PV - it is also a WOW technology with unique features, offering unlimited freedom of design.

OPV is...

INTEGRABLE

Multifold integration possibilities can be explored, whether inlay in glass, lamination on different materials or direct integration in products.

CUSTOMIZABLE

From the outer to the inner values: Different unique shapes and looks according to your design match electric customization.

CONTINUOUS

Offering increased production efficiency by low energy consumption during production and short energetic payback time combined with low to no use of rare materials. Further our OPV is proven to be sustainable in terms of carbon footprint as well as end-of-life treatments.

APPLICATIONS

Solar Art: SL1 Garden Lamp

DESIGN

The photovoltaic active base material manufactured by BELECTRIC OVP under the name 'Solarte' is characterized by freedom of design, shape, and material. It is ideally suited for simple integration into applications and products.

In the printed OPV modules, energy is generated by organic carbon-based semiconductors under the influence of light. The solar panels are manufactured according to a cost-efficient printing procedure.

ARCHITECTURE

The flexible photovoltaics of the ‘Solarte’ series present completely new possibilities for the integration of energetically active components into architecture and product design.

The range of application options could not be more diverse: The spectrum ranges from energy production for lighting objects, transparent and colored accessories for sport, leisure, and fashion, through to attractive PV surfaces to match the design, or inlays for product integration into all kinds of mobile and stationary applications. Furthermore, the new range also includes products that focus on the architecture sector and offer unprecedented possibilities for energy harvesting in façade design and urban furnishings.

Alongside the new 'Solarte' range, BELECTRIC OPV is also further developing the 'Power Plastic' product line, which is primarily aimed at large-scale industrial applications. 

NEWS

BELECTRIC OPV releases its novel Design-2-Module tool for easy access to customized OPV products

by Solarte

Nuremberg, Germany: The market uptake of customized organic photovoltaic (OPV) products is steadily increasing, with customers representing a variety of industry segments, ranging from small and compact devices for electronics to large formats for building integrated installations. BELECTRIC OPV has brought the usability and acceptance of OPV to a new level by being able to design and manufacture modules in customised shapes and various colours. The customisation of an OPV module not only includes the choice of colour and shape but also involves the tailoring of the device electrical characteristics, such as adjusting voltage level and performance, for the intended usage scenario, e.g. indoor versus outdoor application.

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BELECTRIC OPV has invested great effort in the last few years to bring its manufacturing technology to a point that enables the utmost freedom of design. This is achieved by combining freeform laser structuring processes with large-area coating and printing technologies, all of which are based on reliable industrial processes leading to a robust production process as well as easy and cost-effective scalability. The results of these developments have been demonstrated at the German Pavilion at the World EXPO 2015 in Milan, where BELECTRIC and its project partners have installed an OPV system comprising hexagonal modules with a cell layout designed to be aesthetically pleasing. To make such an offering more easily accessible to its customers, BELECTRIC OPV has now revealed a newly-developed design tool, called “Design-2-Module” configurator, which enables the conversion of a customer’s own specifications into a module layout including all relevant technical design parameters by means of computer optimization and automated CAD output. The D2M tool also simultaneously generates all the necessary technical input files for each production process step. Accordingly, the time and effort needed to convert a customer specification into a full set of production data can be greatly reduced. The time-to-market of a customized design is, therefore, no longer dominated by the work spent on module layouts. Furthermore, this tool is capable of grouping different module types onto a single roll of flexible substrate due to the harmonisation and standardisation of design rules. In turn, the time needed to produce also small series of customised products is reduced whilst the economics of such products are increased.

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”Offering improved access and maximum benefit to the customer is a clear target of our internal developments”, comments Hermann Issa (Director Business Development and Sales, BELECTRIC OPV). “We are constantly benchmarking ourselves on how we deal with the customisation of our products. After being able to offer fully customer-specific modules, we also wanted to further reduce the barrier for adopting OPV in integrated products.” Mr. Issa adds: “With the addition of the Design-2-Module tool and the developments made for the EXPO project in terms of systemisation, we are now able to deliver complete OPV systems and not only a set of components. These competencies aid us with the integration of OPV into existing or newly developed products.”

Design-2-Module is part of BELECTRIC OPV’s general approach to make OPV accessible to different markets and suitable for different requirements by combining developments all along the value chain, including a manufacturing process that now also facilitates customer involvement.

“With Design-2-Module we have enhanced customer participation and reduced module design turnaround time to meet the demands of the fast-paced consumer electronics market. Now we are working on the implementation of the D2M tool into a web-based application. The current version of the web interface enables you to place your specification by choosing the power output and electrical contacting as well as uploading your desired module shape. After the specifications are processed in house, you will receive the module layout together with a quote. In the next version we will integrate our D2M tool directly into the web interface, so that you can order immediately after you have approved the module layout and performance tailored to your specifications online. We are not yet there, but the most important step has been made”, stated Dr Ralph Paetzold (CEO BELECTIC OPV). “Furthermore, customisation for us does not necessarily correspond to a certain understanding of high or low volume. Especially if customers want large volumes, they are less likely to accept a standard. Therefore, it is important that the manufacturing process can bundle and handle various order volumes in order to take advantage of economy of scale. By using Design-2-Module we are now able to combine most of our volumes, all the rest is now just logistics.”

Heraeus and BELECTRIC OPV deepen collaboration for next-generation Organic Photovoltaics

by Solarte

Nuremberg/Leverkusen, Germany: The ability to produce organic photovoltaic (OPV) products in various shapes and colors has been illustrated by BELECTRIC OPV at the German Pavilion at the International EXPO in Milan, Italy. The large OPV surfaces are integrated into tree-like structures creating a big canopy over the pavilion. The effect is an attractive, futuristic architecture that generates electricity. This way OPV can energize almost any surface.

Heraeus, a partner of BELECTRIC OPV in development of organic photovoltaics, plays a key role in BELECTRIC’s innovative technology through the supply of vital components. Clevios™ conductive polymer materials based on PEDOT:PSS provide the hole-transport layer, and low temperature SOL silver pastes serve as the electrode in the devices. Both materials are processed by roll-to-roll coating and printing so providing high throughput at low cost. The mutually beneficial cooperation between BELECTRIC OPV and Heraeus on new materials and processes to improve the viability of OPV even further demonstrates the positive impact along the supply chain. Using state-of-the-art materials in combination with innovative wet-coating based manufacturing processes, BELECTRIC OPV is able to supply the market with customized, aesthetically pleasing OPV solutions.

Heraeus, a leading supplier of metallization pastes used in crystalline silicon PV solar cells, is expanding its product range to include next generation PV technologies with low temperature silver pastes along with OPV grades of Clevios™ PEDOT based conductive polymers. Clevios™ is already extensively used in antistatic, touch sensor and emerging OLED applications. Heraeus has ton-scale production capacity for these materials.

”Open innovation approaches, like the joint-development effort together with Heraeus for example, is part of our R&D strategy”, reveals Andreas Distler (Head of R&D, BELECTRIC OPV). “In order to bring OPV technology to its best, it is important that a holistic development approach is applied throughout the whole device architecture and the manufacturing process.” This also adds to the great potential for scalability of printed OPV manufacturing. Armin Sautter, (Manager at Heraeus New Businesses) stated: “Heraeus has over 45 years’ experience in the development thick film metallization pastes and conductive polymers. Partnerships with new technology leaders, such as BELECTRIC, who provideunlimited shapes, colours and even flexibility, is an entirely new dimension for PV technology. BELECTRIC OPV’s vision for photovoltaics is consistent with ours - using technology and innovation to achieve sustainable green energy.”

About Heraeus: Heraeus, the technology group headquartered in Hanau, Germany, is a leading international family-owned company formed in 1851. We create high-value solutions for our customers, strengthening their competitiveness for the long term. Our activities focus on a number of markets: chemical and metals, energy and the environment, communications and electronics, health, mobility, and industrial applications. In fiscal year 2013, Heraeus achieved product revenue of €3.6 billion and precious metals trading revenue of €13.5 billion. With some 12,500 employees in over 110 subsidiaries worldwide, Heraeus holds a leading position in its global markets.

For additional technical information, please contact:
Heraeus Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG 
John Bayley, Marketing CleviosTM 
Business Line Display and Semiconductor, Building B202, Chempark, 51368 Leverkusen, Germany
Email:  john.bayley@heraeus.com, Internet: www.clevios.com

About the German Pavilion Participants:  The Organic Photovoltaic Technology Consortium (ARGE OPV) is the partner network for the development and installation of the organic photovoltaic technology in the German pavilion. The ARGE OPV is made up of the companies BELECTRIC OPV, Carl Stahl GmbH, Hager SE, U.I. Lapp GmbH, Merck KGaA and Schmidhuber. The project is being supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The design, planning and realization of the German Pavilion have been taken on by the German Pavilion Expo 2015 Milan Consortium (ARGE), made up of Schmidhuber, Milla & Partner and Nüssli Deutschland. 

Merck and BELECTRIC OPV Presents Organic Photovoltaic Materials at EXPO 2015 in Milan

by Solarte

Darmstadt, Germany, May 07, 2015: The German Pavilion at EXPO 2015 in Milan has integrated a new solar cell technology into architecture: flexible organic photovoltaics (OPV). With its innovative materials, Merck is providing the key active component of the so-called solar trees that feature this new technology. Visitors to the World Expo, which opened in May, can experience the energy-efficient modules that have been integrated into stylized trees. The futuristic plants are a central design element of the German Pavilion. They symbolize idea seedlings, thus embodying the pavilion’s name "Fields of Ideas". Germany is presenting itself as a vital, fertile landscape filled with ideas to nourish the future. The power-generating OPV modules in the solar trees are produced with printable formulations of modern high-performance polymers that Merck offers under the lisicon® brand name. The blue color of the hexagonal OPV modules comes from Merck materials. They convert the incident light into charge carriers that can be collected in order to generate electricity. The integrated OPV system is being realized by a network of partners: the Organic Photovoltaic Technology Consortium (ARGE OPV) – consisting of the companies Belectric OPV, Carl Stahl, Hager SE as well as U.I. Lapp, Merck, and Schmidhuber – with support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.Brian Daniels, Head of the Advanced Technologies business unit at Merck, is delighted by the attention the future technology has attracted in Milan: “Organic photovoltaics is one of our key growth platforms, in which we develop innovative materials for the cost-effective production of flexible, printed solar panels. These panels are not only efficient and long-lived, but also beautiful for architectural applications. The solar trees at the Expo in Milan are a great example of how these features inspire architects for smart buildings with energizing facades. OPV has the potential to change modern city life. With OPV we can attach single solar-farms to each building so that the countryside can be used to producing food or remain beautifully natural. This ties in perfectly with the theme of the Expo, which is ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’”. 

New solar cell technology offers many impressive advantages 

Organic photovoltaic films have several advantages over conventional silicon cells. Photoactive organic materials are printed in extremely thin layers on transparent plastic film. The patented special inks used in printing consist of formulated blends of materials which after coating create electricity when exposed to light. This technology allows lightweight and flexible semi-transparent modules. As a result, they can be used on all kinds of surfaces. In Germany alone, it is estimated that around 2 to 3 billion square meters of façades and roofs could be equipped with these types of solar panels. A further key advantage is that the modules generate relatively constant output, for instance even if it is cloudy or artificial light is being used. In addition, they can be produced in different colors and thus adapted to the surroundings. This is a property that creates new possibilities, particularly for building design. The cost-effective production of the OPV modules is also advantageous. Since these polymer materials can be processed as liquid solutions, they are suitable for multiple printing processes: spin coating, ink-jet printing or roll-to-roll processing such as gravure and flexographic printing. In contrast to many other polymers for OPV, the materials from Merck can be coated from non-halogenated solvents without any detriment to performance. This minimizes the environmental impact during production and thus corresponds entirely to the concept of green energy generation. 

Under the motto “Energizing SurFaces Power Modern Life” the partners of the Organic Photovoltaic Technology Consortium (ARGE OPV) will held an exclusive event with experts from the OPV scene. It will take place at the German Pavilion on June 8, 2015 in Milan. As a key-note speaker Lennart Wiechell from SCHMIDHUBER, the architect of the German Pavilion, will share his insights and vision about energizing potentials of the OPV technology in modern and sustainable architecture. 

Journalists that are interested to report on the new technology can receive an invitation. Please get in contact with us via pm-communications@merckgroup.com.

Schmidhuber and BELECTRIC OPV bring energy into the German pavilion

by Solarte

Organic photovoltaic modules in the German pavilion at the EXPO Milano 2015

Nuremberg - for the German pavilion at the 2015 world exhibition in Milan, new ground is being broken with the integration of photovoltaics in architecture. This is the first major international architecture project in which the new products on the basis of organic photovoltaic technology (OPV) are being used. In contrast with conventional solar modules, the flexible film-integrated OPV modules from BELECTRIC OPV GmbH can be integrated in the innovative design of the ARGE German pavilion (Schmidhuber, Milla & Partner and Nüssli) without any problem.

"Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life" is the topic of the EXPO 2015, which is taking place in Milan from May until October 2015. With the motto of "Fields of Ideas" Germany will be attending the event as a lively, fruitful "landscape" which is full of ideas for the nutrition of the future. The key design element of the pavilion are the stylized plants which are supposed to "germinate ideas", and grow from the floor of the exhibition to create a roof of foliage. The organic and flowing language of design, the economical use of resources and space, the lean technologies and intelligent constructions will all come together in the pavilion.

The energy-generating solar trees will be designed with the help of BELECTRIC OPV modules. "Organic photovoltaics are opening up brand new possibilities in the field of architecture. They match with the specifications of the architects and designers - and not the other way around," explains Hermann Issa, Director of Business Development & Sales at BELECTRIC OPV and Project Manager for the use of OPV in the German pavilion.

"The solar trees connect the interior and exterior space, the architecture and exhibition, and also provide shade during the sunny months of the EXPO.We weren't only able to use an existing technology here, we were also able to configure everything, through to the visual appearance of the modules, and link it in with the overall design," explains Lennart Wiechell, Head Architect and Managing Partner at Schmidhuber.  "The OPV modules also contribute to reducing the external use of energy in the area of the building and therefore to saving resources."

"In order to realize the OPV based system for the German pavilion, a highly qualified network of partners has been created which will manage the individual topics according to the appropriate skills," explains Dr. Ralph Pätzold, CEO of BELECTRIC OPV. "As the project-leading company, together with Carl Stahl GmbH, U.I. Lapp GmbH, Merck KGaA and with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, we are developing the integrated OPV system for the German pavilion in Milan, which organically slots into the Schmidhuber architectural concept."  This new product will thus be presented to an international audience during the EXPO as the ideal platform. 

The project also demonstrates the considerable potential of organic photovoltaics in the area of building integration. Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) is one of the biggest potential growth markets for photovoltaics. As shown in a study by the specialist group for photovoltaics of the German Federal Association Bundesverband Bausysteme e.V., in Germany alone, 3,000 km2 of space is available on buildings which could be equipped with BIPV. The space available on building shells is currently therefore more than enough to cover the electricity volume intended in the energy mix with BIPV.

Sustainable Cooperation

by Solarte

DAW SE integrates organic photovoltaics from BELECTRIC OPV into its construction products

Nuremberg/Ober-Ramstadt, Germany: Photovoltaics specialist BELECTRIC OPV and construction paint and insulation system manufacturer DAW SE (Deutsche Amphibolin-Werke) have joined forces to work on the integration of cutting-edge organic photovoltaics (OPV) into different construction product-lines and their respective components. The department of Architecture, division Design and Energy-Efficient Construction, at the Technical University of Darmstadt, headed by Prof. Manfred Hegger, is advising the cooperation partners on issues relating to construction technology and design. The aim of the cooperation is to develop finished construction elements capable of generating electricity, thereby breaking new ground in the field of building-integrated photovoltaics. The development of these new elements will enable photovoltaics to be incorporated into construction projects without increasing complexity or workload and a uniform appearance may be created throughout the architecture. Moreover, the photovoltaic construction elements deliver greater functionality that would otherwise need to be provided by additional conventional construction parts.

The integration of photovoltaic components in buildings represents a step into the future, and the demand among system providers is correspondingly high. Accordingly the cooperation between DAW and BELECTRIC OPV is built upon this high level of interest. The organic photovoltaic components are integrated directly into the facade insulation systems produced by DAW,representing a further cornerstone in DAW's long-term sustainability strategy. In May 2012, DAW won the "Hidden Champion" SME prize awarded by German broadcaster n-tv in the Sustainability category.

"DAW has set itself the objective of assuming a pioneering role in the field of sustainability. The construction industry in particular offers a huge amount of potential through the use of energy-efficient product systems. As a result, this cooperation represents the ideal match for our longstanding, eco-conscious corporate philosophy," explains Dr. Helmut Plum, member of the DAW Executive Board responsible for R&D and Purchasing. BELECTRIC, the global market leader in the development and construction of ground-mounted solar power plants and roof-mounted photovoltaic systems, has continued its research and development work into organic solar panels under the name BELECTRIC OPV since October 2012. Alongside the new 'Solarte' range, the company is continuing to develop its 'Power Plastic' product line, which is primarily aimed at large-scale industrial applications.

"To date, solar power generated from buildings has been produced almost exclusively by roof-mounted systems. Generating solar energy via finished construction elements forming part of the building shell represents the next key step. BELECTRIC OPV has the technical know-how to provide the specially modified OPV components for the project. Our 'Solarte' line is the ideal product to integrate into high-quality construction products such as those produced by DAW. These products allow users to make an active contribution towards protecting the environment and also use the electrical energy generated by the photovoltaic systems," adds Dr. Ralph Pätzold, CEO of BELECTRIC OPV GmbH.

New level in solar technology – BGT and BELECTRIC present marketready OPV in glass elements

by Solarte

Cooperation between Bischoff Glastechnik AG (BGT) and BELECTRIC OPV

Nuremberg/Bretten: Glass is a key construction material in modern architecture and shapes the appearance of our towns and cities considerably. For architects and designers, glass offers enormous potential thanks to its wide variety of properties and processing options. Therefore, the combination of glass with the most innovative type of photovoltaics, OPV (Organic Photovoltaics), will be trendsetting both architecturally and commercially. The result of the joint development project worked on by BGT Bischoff Glastechnik AG, the glass finishing specialists, and BELECTRIC OPV GmbH, pioneers in the field of organic photovoltaics, is now available on the market with the product ’BI-Powersol’.

As an innovative and flexible technology, organic photovoltaics have an extensive range of creative architectural applications when used with the versatile and elegant construction material that is glass. As part of the energy revolution and sustainability strategy, the incorporation of PV elements into the building shell from an architectural, structural and design perspective, while taking the multifunctional features of the PV module into account, is growing in importance. In this regard, BELECTRIC OPV’s SOLARTE product line enables new aesthetic, ecological and economic possibilities for the integration of energetically active components into architecture. Together with BGT, completely new photovoltaically active glass elements that can meet all aesthetic requirements and be integrated into buildings are being produced in this way. “Together with renowned architects and facade planners, BGT undertakes countless construction projects and creates architectural highlights. Our task is to find the ideal glass solution for all requirements. Thanks to BGT’s many years of experience with glass products and BELECTRIC OPV’s innovative organic photovoltaics, a photovoltaic solution that fully meets these high demands is now available. The launch of our new product, ‘BIPowersol’, is imminent,” said Klaus Wittmann, Managing Director of BGT Bischoff Glastechnik AG.

“We are delighted that we have been able to take our successful collaboration with BGT to the next level. If solar energy is to be used throughout the entire building shell, then organic photovoltaics are extremely well suited to this purpose. With SOLARTE, BELECTRIC OPV has developed the perfect product for integration into BGT’s highquality glass products. Now the successful joint technical development phase has come to an end, a complete OPV system for architecture and facades will soon be launched” added Hermann Issa, Director of Business Development, Marketing and Sales at BELECTRIC OPV GmbH.

Press Contact

BELECTRIC OPV:
Hermann Issa, Director Business Development
Marketing & Sales
Landgrabenstrasse 94
90443 Nuremberg, Germany

Telephone: +49 911 217800
E-mail: opv-pr@belectric.com, Website: www.solarte.de

 

GALLERY

A COMPANY FULL OF ENERGY

BELECTRIC OPV GmbH, founded 2013, is part of the Belectric group and situated in Nuremberg (R&D) and Kitzingen (Manufacturing Center at INNOPARK Kitzingen). BELECTRIC OPV develops and manufactures organic solar cells and focuses on the commercialization of customized OPV solutions. The company belongs to BELECTRIC group (www.belectric.com), which is one of the world’s most successful companies in the development and construction of ground-mounted solar power plants and photovoltaic roof systems. BELECTRIC is represented worldwide. Its position as a world leader in technology is the result of a high degree of vertical integration in the development and manufacturing processes. A belief in the compatibility of economic and ecological interests has always been the basis for the sustainable success. More than 120 active patents are a testament to BELECTRIC’s innovative spirit.

With our team of scientists, engineers and manufacturing experts we create customized OPV solutions for your application according to your requirements and thus make full use of the intrinsic advantages OPV offers.

Your requirements are our driving force!

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CONTACT

BELECTRIC OPV GmbH
Landgrabenstr. 94
90443 Nürnberg
Germany

Phone: +49 (0) 911-21780-0
Fax: +49 (0) 911-21780-10

Mail: opv@belectric.com
Web: www.solarte.de

Manufacturing:

BELECTRIC OPV GmbH
Steigweg 24, Building 12
97318 Kitzingen
Germany

Further information at www.innopark-kitzingen.de

How to reach us

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