While organic solar cell allows for the incorporation of photovoltaic (PV) generation into new products and structures, this nascent solar technology must prove it can operate in real-world environments.
To prove this is the case, Konarka's organic (O)PV modules have passed aging tests designed for amorphous silicon PV, a commercialised thin-film technology used in applications such as PV laminates for roofs.
Organic solar test
Technical services organisation TÜV Rheinland performed the test for thin-film PV standard IEC 61646 at its Solar Energy Assessment Centre (SEAC) in Cologne, Germany. The evaluation involved assessing whether Konarka's Power Plastic modules, based on an inverted cell structure, can survive critical stress tests.
The tests for IEC 61646 'Thin-film terrestrial photovoltaic (PV) modules - Design qualification and type approval' determine the electrical and thermal characteristics of modules and show, as far as possible within reasonable constraints of cost and time, that the module is capable of withstanding prolonged exposure in climates described in the scope.
Earlier in 2012, Konarka's became the first OPV technology to pass individual critical lifetime ageing tests, according to the same standard.
SEAC at TÜV Rheinland is a leading test lab, using modern testing processes and simulation facilities, for proven quality and reliability, according to national and international standards.
Thin, lightweight, transparent, in different colours, and flexible, OPV film modules have potential for integration into various materials, including glass, plastics, steel, composites, and fabrics.
Massachusetts-based Konarka is working with several partners to apply its OPV film to materials, including ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe for building-integrated PV (BIPV) applications, and automotive sunroof supplier Webasto, with clients that include Volkswagen and Skoda. First commercial products to reach the market will be for BIPV, by 2015.
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Documents and links
IEC 61646 ‘Thin-film terrestrial photovoltaic (PV) modules – Design qualification and type approval’
Document outlining the testing and guidelines for IEC 61646
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