German government launches €16 million organic PV R&D project

13. November 2013 | Applications & Installations, Research & Development, Markets & Trends | By:  Ian Clover

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will sponsor the Merck-led project into achieving further breakthroughs in the development of organic photovoltaics (OPV).

An organic solar PV cell.

This latest push for organic photovoltaics could be just what the industry needs in order to enter the solar mainstream.

Germany’s BMBF has backed a Merck-led research and development inititiave in OPV technology to the tune of €8.2 million.

Labeled the POPUP project, Merck – a German pharmaceutical, chemical and life science company – will spearhead the consortium, which consists of ten technology leaders, each possessing various expertise in the field of OPV.

With BMBF’s financial backing, the total budget of this three-year project is €16 million, and its objective is to develop more efficient and stable OPV materials for use in the solar power industry. The POPUP project will also look to develop more adaptable and flexible device material capable of supporting rigid, opaque and semi-transparent modules.

In the longer term, it is hoped that this research into OPV can help lower costs, allowing for mass adoption of the technology, and perhaps even integration into next-gen automobiles in order to supply clean and consistent power to onboard electronic systems. The technology’s inherent aesthetic value also makes it a desirable option for architects keen on creating solar-powered glass facades. The new technologies can also be used to charge mobile devices and even be fitted for off-grid applications.

Merck’s role, according to an official press statement, will be to coordinate the research of the ten partners, while also performing the "development and synthesis of the cutting-edge materials as well as the chemical-physical characterization and evaluation in simple device structures."


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