The European Commission’s Innovation Radar has acknowledged three innovations by German company ARMOR solar power films. The innovations have been developed as part of the EU-funded OLEDSOLAR project and cover different stages of the OPV manufacturing process. The three innovative processes for which ARMOR solar power films has been identified as a key innovator are an in-line inspection process for OPV thin films using LED transmission, a process for manufacturing free-form OPV modules after the deposition process and a CO2 laser cutting process for OPV modules. Assessments based on the market creation potential indicator developed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre identified the innovations as addressing the needs of existing markets and customers. OPVs are a new solar cell technology that can store larger amounts of sunlight than other solar cells. They’re also lightweight, low-cost and scalable to cover large areas. With OPV cells, solar energy conversion into electrical energy is more efficient than in silicon cells found in most of today’s solar panels. “ARMOR solar power films’ teams are pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved with OPV technology,” comments company chairman and CEO Hubert de Boisredon in a news item posted on the ‘Printed Electronics Now’ website.
The Innovation Radar’s role
The Innovation Radar’s aim is to find excellence across all research and innovation projects funded by the EU. It identifies high-potential innovations and the people behind them as a way to make it possible for all European citizens to discover the results of EU innovation funding. By making this information more easily available, the EU aims to foster “a dynamic ecosystem of incubators, entrepreneurs, funding agencies and investors that can help get EU-funded innovations faster to market,” the ‘Innovation Radar’ website states. There are also further benefits for the innovators: “Being recognized by the Innovation Radar as a high potential innovator for multiple developments reinforces our commitment to provide access to energy, everywhere, for everyone, all the time,” observes de Boisredon in the ‘Printed Electronics Now’ news item. OLEDSOLAR (Innovative manufacturing processes and in-line monitoring techniques for the OLED and thin film and organic photovoltaic industries (CIGS and OPV)) is developing novel processes for critical steps in the manufacture of optoelectronic devices that include organic light-emitting diodes, OPVs and copper indium gallium selenide solar cells. Its activities address the challenges of scaling up from laboratory to mass production, selecting efficient manufacturing processes and carrying out inspection, control and measurement techniques that will improve yield, quality and time to market. A multidisciplinary team of 16 leading European industries and research organisations have joined efforts in this project, which is coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The project ends in September 2021. For more information, please see: OLEDSOLAR project website
OLEDSOLAR, solar cell, organic photovoltaic, OPV, Innovation Radar, thin film