The 17 scientific and industrial partners involved in the Sunflower project, whose research is aimed at developing printed organic photovoltaics, chose a living room as the setting in which to showcase their work. The room looks a bit old-fashioned at first glance but the attentive observer will soon notice the discreet technological presence, such as the window blinds with integrated printed organic PV modules or the OPV handbag left on the armchair. It is an original way of demonstrating the breakthroughs made and was awarded the ‘Best Publicly Funded Demonstrator’ prize at LOPE-C, the world’s biggest printed electronics trade fair and conference.
Not just ordinary PV
Large-scale roll-to-roll printing on flexible polymers: this is one way of describing OPV technology which has shown great potential for a number of years now, especially in applications where aesthetics are important, such as on building façades or when incorporated in everyday objects. Nonetheless, the PV performance and lifespan still had to be improved. Now, the project’s industrial and scientific partners have developed new materials that are fully compatible with the technology, promising much lower production costs than rival solutions. In the laboratory, the energy efficiency from OPV cells has reached up to 10%.
OPV will help the European Union hit its energy targets
“The possible applications for OPV technology are numerous, from consumer mobile electronic devices to architecture,” explains Giovanni Nisato, coordinator of the project managed by CSEM (Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology). “Thanks to the results we have obtained, printed organic photovoltaics are set to become part of our everyday lives, letting us use renewable energy which is respectful of the environment and with a positive impact on our quality of life.” The European Union has invested €10 million in this project, enabling much progress in OPV materials, science and device technologies, which will help it achieve its goal of doubling the share of renewables in its energy mix, from 14% in 2012 to 27-30% by 2030. Sunflower has paved the way to enable a significant rise in the use of solar power incorporated into everyday objects.
Click here for the full press release: in English, French and German. As well as testimonials from European companies that collaborated in SUNFLOWER.
Printed Electronics Association (OE-A) awarded the Sunflower project the “Best publicly funded project demonstrator”
prize for the “OPV living room”.
Organic photovoltaics (OPV) provide the benefits of flexibility, low weight, and freedom of design. OPV can operate under
low-light conditions and is shadow-tolerant. These advantages, and the ease of handling in subsequent product-integration
processes, enable the development of consumer and portable electronics, and building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV)
products. The Sunflower consortium has chosen three demonstration targets to visualize these new possibilities:
- OPV window blinds: window blinds with integrated printed organic PV modules. The blinds are large-area functional modules. These devices are compatible with mass manufacturing.
- OPV integrated in architectural glass windows. The windows even contain additional light-management structures which increase energy harvesting of the OPV windows.
- OPV bag with OPV modules fully integrated in the material of the bag.
project (FP7), coordinated by CSEM. Sunflower aims to develop a new generation of organic photovoltaic technologies,
thereby opening exciting new technologies for the use of solar energy.
The OE-A is the world's leading network for the next generation of electronics (organic electronics and printed electronics).
Each year, it organizes the LOPE-C, the leading trade-show and conference in the domain.
ICT2015 conference in Lisbon, Portugal. check the pictures below for some impressions of the Sunflower booth and demonstrators!
You can see us in this video report from 01:08.