ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe and Solliance (a group consisting of ECN, imec, TNO, Holst Centre, TU/e and Forschungszentrum Julich) have begun research on new applications for organic photovoltaics (OPV).
OPV may be less efficient than previous rigid solar cells based on silicon, but the technology offers the potential to be made in large quantities at low cost and with reduced resource use, according to the research partners. It may be especially useful when applied to large surfaces, such as the roofs and facades of industrial buildings, where panels made of organic coated steel are typically used.
The partners plan to investigate methods for incorporating OPV into flat steel products for use in the construction industry. ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe, a supplier of coated flat steel products, has recently joined the existing Solliance research program for this purpose.
Integrating OPV into flat steel products brings clear benefits over previous thin-film solar cells and could accelerate the trend towards market-ready products, according to the companies.