infinityPV’s CEO calls for joined forces in the printed solar industry


For decades scientists have been pursuing an exceedingly ambitious goal: They hope to provide clean energy for the entire world. Solutions including fusion, wind, solar, and more are all in the works, each with their own sets of promises and costs. Frederik C. Krebs, CEO of infinityPV (Jyllinge, Denmark) sees one clear path to a renewable energy future: “Printed solar cells hold the promises of solving our energy needs - we have the technology, all needed materials are abundant, and we spend extremely limited energy producing them.”

As a world-renowned scientist, professor Frederik C. Krebs has been spearheading the development of polymer solar cells from his position at the Technical University of Denmark. On the first of January 2018 Frederik C. Krebs leaves behind the world of academia and steps into the leadership role of infinityPV full time: “I am really happy and look forward to dedicating all my time to the technology that I have worked on for 18 years,” declares Krebs. “I want to make infinityPV realise the full potential of organic photovoltaics and printed solar cells and I want to enable anybody to manufacture, implement, and disseminate this technology in the right way.”

Organic and printed solar cells have long been hailed as a potentially revolutionary technology that could advance energy production, however, commercialisation of the technology has progressed slowly. “Academia has lifted this technology, once we struggled for 1% efficiency and now laboratory records easily exceed 10%,” explains Krebs, “however, there are problems ill-suited for University work. In many ways the discovery phase is over for the technology. We have high efficiency and good lifetimes, but we will continuously encounter challenges as we scale the technology. I believe these new challenges are best met in the private sector, where scientific ambition does not interfere with our focus.”

infinityPV was founded in 2014 and since then the company has focused on building a vertically integrated business around printed solar cells. The manufacturing of printed organic solar cells is a multidisciplinary problem from organic chemistry to roll to roll printing. “At this phase all elements must be optimised as one”, he explains. “I want infinityPV to master and control all these elements, so we can realise the true potential of the technology. I also want to share this technology, which in my view has not always been correctly understood. Organic solar cells are often viewed and compared to crystalline silicon which is a tremendously successful technology. Currently we cannot compete with the prices of installed capacity for silicon, but we must not forget that the true potential lies in the thin outline, flexibility, freeform design, and scalability.”

Organic solar cells are currently finding applications in compact solar cell chargers, BIPV, drones, education, and more. “At infinityPV our reach is wide from fundamental materials, through equipment and machinery to real life products” explains Krebs. “I believe this wide scope is necessary until the technology has become more mainstream and more strong actors have entered the industry.” This prospect of future competition does not scare him: “I want to show that it is possible, because I know it is, and my dream is for others to join forces and together make a strong industry. If I were to guess where infinityPV is in 5 years, I would perhaps rather say where I think printed solar is. It will be huge.”

Caption: Frederik C. Krebs, CEO of infinityPV (photo: infinityPV)  

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