New tech to apply perovskite thin-film layers to conventional solar panels


Uppsala-based start-up Evolar announced that Norwegian investment firm Magnora ASA has agreed to acquire a 28.44% interest in Evolar for an undisclosed sum, with options to acquire the remaining shares at a later stage. “There is currently no commercial perovskite product on the market,” said Torstein Sanness, Magnora’s executive chairman. “Evolar aims to capitalize on an early-mover advantage to reach commercialization.”

Evolar added that, at the appropriate time, it will consider a listing and an initial public offering to fast-track the growth of its business.

The company's technology consists of perovskite-based thin-film layers that can be applied to conventional solar panels to boost their performance. “Evolar's PV Power Booster is a technology to deposit a thin film solar cell layer of perovskite on the inside of the cover glass of a conventional panel and, in a unique way, electrically match and connect the layer to the silicon solar cells fixed to the bottom of the conventional panel,” a company spokesperson told pv magazine. “The deposition step is a dry process and is based on the team's experiences from deposition of CIGS thin-films.”

The technology, which is claimed to raise the efficiency of a module by up to 5%, can be easily integrated with an existing production line for crystalline silicon panels, the start-up said, adding that it can also enable panel manufacturers to increase the prices of their products. “By adding the thin, perovskite-based solar cell structure to a solar panel, you convert it from a commodity product to a premium product,” said Evolar CEO Mats Ljunggren in a press release. “Just as important is that it is easy to integrate the perovskite thin film process into current production set-ups, which means that the capex investment will be paid back in a very short time for solar panel manufacturers.”

The company is currently operating an R&D prototype production line at its headquarters in Uppsala and aims to design and engineer production lines for its partners and customers.

Evolar's founders were also the founders of CIGS specialist Solibro in 2003. “In 2006, Solibro was sold to German solar group Q-Cells, at a valuation of €84 million,” Evolar said. “At the time, Solibro was partly owned by Statkraft’s, Eidsvia’s and Hafslund’s venture divisions.”

Solibro was then sold to Chinese thin-film module manufacturer Hanergy and, after becoming insolvent in January of this year, it was liquidated three months later.

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