Organic photovoltaics on steel

Solliance, the alliance for research and development in the field of thin film photovoltaic solar energy (PV) in the ELAT-region (Eindhoven-Leuven-Aachen triangle), and coated flat steel products manufacturer Thyssen Steel Europe see the promise in incorporating organic PV into flat steel products for use in construction.

The potential lies in the fact that the construction sector is becoming increasingly conscious about energy reduction in buildings. One way of creating energy neutral and energy self-sufficient buildings is to integrate renewable energy generating technologies into the building envelope. BIPV holds advantages over PV systems fitted into buildings after construction in a sense that it merges into the building and the power generating functions. The aim is to equip the steel strip from which the panels are made with the OPV functionality during production.

With the integration of organic PV into flat steel products, an asthetically pleasing, design-friendly product can be created. This could accelerate the trend towards market ready PV products. Integrated organic PV could be used on both roofs and facades, giving a much larger generating area and increasing the amount of eco-friendly electricity produced.

Organic PV can be integrated into the roll-to-roll coating prices of flat steel strip production to bring extra value. Dr. Bettina Werner from ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe says, "The shared research carried out at Solliance covers the entire value chain, bringing together multiple partners with different focuses to speed the development of a standard integrated PV solution."

"We are proud to welcome ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe to the Solliance ecosystem. Having such a world-renowned steel manufacturer on board highlights the strong market pull for OPVs and helps us focus our research on the needs of end users. This is a key step in our ongoing roadmap to develop high-efficiency, low-cost and highly stable OPV modules for a wide range of applications," adds Ronn Andriessen, OPV Program Manager at Solliance.