Commercial Production of Third Generation Photovoltaics
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commercial productions of Third Generation Photovoltaics

E.  Sıddık İÇLİ and Ceylan ZAFER

Solar Energy Institute, Ege University,


Abstract: Low-cost photovoltaic (PV) is a key technology goal identified globaly for achieving its commitment to international renewable energy and environmental obligations. Whilst commercial PV, as exemplified by silicon-based systems, is making incremental progress towards cost reduction, there is a clear need for technologies that could result in a step-change. Silisium based PVs, developed half a century ago are named as first generation, followed by thin film PVs composed of rare elements on Earth are named as the second generation. Two decades earlier, advent of the Graetzel’s [1] Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell-DSSC, created considerable interest as one such possible step-change. Technology, which followed in parallel is by Heeger’s [2] Organic Solar Cell-OSC. Following the silisium based PVs and the thin film photovoltaics-PVs, organic based solar cells are called as third generation PVs.  Organic based PVs are blamed as unstable and at low efficiencies. In last two decades these problems had been overcame. Recent advances in organic based technologies have proven by independent laboratories that both DSSCs and OSCs have reached stabilities of over 10 years [3], and the day long efficiency of a 6.5% DSSC PV panel is higher than a 12% Si crystal PV panel [4].  Considering that the history of silisium PVs  of half a century, organic solar technology have reached to the same level in quarter of a century.

As a result, investments on the World productions of Organic Photovoltaic’s are mushrooming. Increasing number of private companies are now seen each year. Productions are targeted on elastic   materials (plastics), which are commercially and applicability much favorable. Flexibility of organic PVs create a serious advantage in comparison to Si PVs and Thin Film PVs, productions by the rapid and economical roll-to-roll process technology. Konarka firm of USA and DYESOL firm of Australia are the pioneers in the World on the productions of OSCs and DSSCs. In recent years, competition on roll-to-roll process technology are widened by entering of German firms of GENCOA Ltd., Hueck Folien, MICROMAC, HELIATEK, SOLARION and Southwall Technologies Inc. of  USA.  German Roth & Rau Microsystems GmbH and ANLAGEN BAU GmbH, British G24 Innovations produce roll-to-roll process machinery for flexible solar cell technology market. Unfortunately, in Turkey any attempt for the production of Organic Photovoltaic is not yet seen.  

 [1] B. O.Regan, M. Gratzel, Nature, 1991, 335, 737.

[2] D. Braun and A. J. Heeger, Applied Physics Letters, 1991, 58, 1982.

[3] A. Hinsch, J. M. Kroon, R. Kern, I. Uhlendorf, J. Holzbock, A. Meyer, J. Ferber, Prog.

      Photovoltaics: Res. Appl., 2001, 9, 425 

[4] T. Toyoda et al., J. Photochem. & Photobiol. A. Chem., 2004, 164, 203.