Heliatek opens organic solar panel production facility

13. March 2012 | Applications & Installations, Industry & Suppliers, Products | By:  Becky Stuart

Germany’s Heliatek GmbH has opened its first flexible organic solar panel production facility in Dresden. The company says it invested €14 million in establishing the production line – reportedly the first of its kind worldwide.

The organic photovoltaic production facility was opened yesterday in Dresden, Germany.

A spokesperson for Heliatek tells pv magazine that between two and three megawatts (MW) will be manufactured in 2012, to be used in its "Energy-2-Go" applications – solar bags, umbrellas and portable chargers, for example – scheduled to be launched this autumn.

Meanwhile, they add that the company will close another financing round this year, worth €50 million, which will be used to fund a second 50 to 75 MW production line for building integrated photovoltaic products. This is expected to be completed in 2014.

In addition to Heliatek’s current investors, which include BASF Venture Capital, Bosch, Innogy Venture Capital (RWE), and Wellington Partners, new financial sources will be sought for the second production line.

In a separate statement released, Heliatek said that construction on the new facility was completed in under six months. Meanwhile, the production process is said to use vacuum deposition at low temperatures, which reportedly holds "excellent potential for significantly reducing costs in mass production".

The company explained that it is the only organic manufacturer to specialize in the vacuum deposition of small molecules (oligomers) on flexible film, as opposed to relying on printing processes. In a statement released, the company said, "The advantages lie in better process control, higher efficiency, and longer life span."

Prime Minister of Saxony, Stanislaw Tillich joined 300 guests to mark the inauguration of Heliatek's facility yesterday.

In December, CTO and co-founder of Heliatek, Martin Pfeiffer, together with his fellow researchers, Karl Leo and Jan Blochwitz-Nimoth, were awarded the Deutscher Zukunftspreis, the German President’s Award for Technology and Innovation, for their achievements in the development of organic electronics.

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