Heliatek worked in cooperation with the University of Ulm and TU Dresden.The tests at SGS showed "superior low light and high temperature performances of organic PV or OPV compared to traditional technologies" according to the company. The new world record improves on the previous one of 10.7%, also set by Heliatek nine months ago.
The commercialization of first partner applications with integrated Heliatek Solar Films as energy harvesting components is expected in late 2013. In parallel Heliatek has launched a financing round to raise 60 million from current and new investors for a new roll-to-roll volume production line to draw on economies of scale.
The record cell combines two patented absorber materials that improves energetic utilization through a higher photovoltage. One of the two absorbers was developed and synthesized by Ulm University’s Institute of Organic Chemistry II and Advanced Materials, headed by Prof. Peter Bäuerle who is also co-founder of Heliatek. Heliatek stated that thanks to OPV’s behavior in low light and high temperature conditions, the 12% record is comparable to about 14% to 15% efficiency for traditional solar technologies like crystalline silicon and thin film PV.
"We are pleased to continue to lead the OPV industry with this landmark achievement. Our continuous progress comforts us in our ability to reach 15% efficiency by 2015 and gradually transfer our record efficiencies into Heliatek’s roll-to-roll production line. We manufacture solar films and not solar panels. Our customers in the building and construction material industry, in automotive and in light structures, such as shading and street furniture, are integrating these solar films as energy harvesting components to increase the functionality of their products," stated Thibaud Le Séguillon.
The world record was also enabled thanks to the R&D support from the German Ministry of Education and Research, the EU FP7 Program and the German Research Foundation.