Fasadglas invests SEK18 million in NLAB Solar

The purpose of the partnership and financing, says the company, is to accelerate product development at NLAB Solar and reduce time to market.

Through the partnership with Fasadglas, NLAB says it will gain access to "unique knowledge" of the market as well as distribution, installation and sales for commercialization within facade- and building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).

The company adds that it will be using the funds to construct what it says is one of the world’s first pilot plants for production of third generation, or dye sensitized, solar cells in Stockholm.

NLAB says that its patented technology for transparent DSCs – a photonic crystal – allows it to boost the conversion of sunlight to electrical energy by up to 37 percent above competition.

The company goes on to explain that its method of increasing efficiency makes the solar cells more efficient under indirect and diffuse illumination, or indoors. This, it says, makes it possible to use the entire facades of large buildings in urban environments for power production, in spite of poor light conditions.

The goal is to power one square meter of office space with one square meter of solar cell facade. It is reported that NLAB’s cells are estimated to cost 20 percent of the current price on silicon solar cells.

Another property that makes the product "highly attractive" to the glass market, explains the company, is the possibility of tailoring transparency and color of the solar cells, which will allow them to replace solar control film in warm countries. The global glass market for NLAB solar is estimated to be in excess of three billion square meters per annum.

The third generation solar cell (DSC) was originally invented by Swiss professor Michael Grätzel: "It makes me very happy to see the recent developments of NLAB Solar, a strong management and great technological knowledge together with this industrial partnership will shorten the time to market substantially," he comments.

"The entire DSC business is at the verge of a commercial break through and together with its new partner NLAB Solar has a strong position and can advance rapidly."