(previously NLAB), a Swedish developer of dye solar cells (DSC), is building a 20 MW production line, with $20 million (€15.3 million) in investment from a mixture of funding from government and private sources.
The line, in Stockholm, will be completed in 2014. As well as BIPV, Exeger is intent on supplying its DSC modules for consumer electronics and indoor wireless power markets. The facility will include tools for making the DSCs on glass as well as flexible substrates.
The $20 million includes a $9 million loan from the Swedish Energy Agency, secured in December 2012, and the rest from industrial investors, from the building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) market as well as existing investors.
DSCs work under diffused light, low light and indoor light and are less sensitive to the angle of incident light than silicon. These advantages coupled with other benefits such as being able to make the cells in different colours, on light flexible films, mean that DSCs can be integrated into consumer electronics accessories such as cases for portable computers and for powering smart building devices.
The inherent performance characteristics of DSCs have led the Israel-based 3G solar to engineer an all-plastic DSC, a departure from the company’s initial focus which was developing DSC production on glass substrates for the rooftop and utility solar markets.
‘Apart from niche architectural solar harvesting glass type applications, there is significant opportunity for small plastic or glass DSC cells to be used for indoor applications, to replace batteries in sensors, for wireless support in consumer electronic devices and accessories,’ says 3G Solar CTO Jonathan Goldstein. By sandwiching the dyes between plastic layers higher conversion efficiencies are possible. The company will look to raise investment for a high volume pilot roll-to-roll (R2R) production line which it plans to have installed and operational by late 2014.