SolarWindow sets new record, doubling Its power conversion efficiency
SolarWindow Technologies, Inc. (New York City, New York), developer of transparent liquid coatings and processes for generating electricity on glass and plastics recently announced that it has more than doubled its prior certified performance, also achieving the highest independently-certified power conversion efficiency of previous organic photovoltaic devices fabricated at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado through a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA).
SolarWindow reported a record 14.72% (+/- 0.29%) power conversion efficiency using industry-standard single-cell patterning for performance testing. Spurred by these positive results, engineers are already working to further optimise power conversion efficiency for a single cell, and additionally translate this record efficiency to large-scale SolarWindow applications for products such as electricity-generating glass windows for buildings, automotive sunroofs, and more.
“This remarkable efficiency tangibly demonstrates SolarWindow capabilities to the marketplace by setting a new standard for power conversion efficiency, the absolute metric for determining how much power is generated from light. This is only the beginning,” stated Dr James Whitaker, SolarWindow principal scientist and VP of technology development.
Last quarter, SolarWindow management announced plans to increase power and prototyping capabilities. Within weeks, Dr Whitaker and his team achieved a 500% increase in testing speed, 12-fold greater testing capacity and output, and 20-times reduction in material costs for rapid lab-scale prototyping of SolarWindow electricity-generating glass.
Only 60 days later, the SolarWindow team successfully engineered, fabricated, tested, and independently certified the highest power conversion efficiency organic photovoltaic device thus far in its CRADA with NREL, more than doubling past performance.
The company has repeatedly exhibited the aesthetic appeal of its transparent glass window panes generating electricity, and successfully demonstrated suitability to low-cost manufacturing and materials. Today’s record-setting power conversion efficiency further emboldens the SolarWindow promise to turn ordinary surfaces into affordable, attractive, easy to produce, high-power products.
Unlike conventional solar panels, SolarWindow applies ultra-thin layers of its LiquidElectricity coatings and processes to plastics and glass, which then generate electricity. Available in a variety of colours and transparencies, these liquid coatings are 1/100th the thickness of a human hair and can be applied using low-cost and high-throughput methods typical to commercial manufacturing of tinted window films, digital displays, semiconductors, and newspaper printing.
Notably, all tested SolarWindow devices were fabricated under the CRADA between SolarWindow and NREL. Under the leadership of Dr James Whitaker, SolarWindow has worked through the CRADA in collaboration with NREL researchers, namely: Dr Bryon Larson; Dr Bertrand J. Tremolet de Villers; Dr David Ostrowski; Rosemary Bramante; Mickey Wilson; and Reilly Seban, who provided important technical support to the SolarWindow project.
“SolarWindow works with a team of highly qualified, talented, and devoted scientists, engineers, and technicians at NREL, enabled by our CRADA. I want to thank each member of the team for their support as we work to build transparent electricity-generating glass and plastics which produce high-power at low cost,” stated Dr Whitaker.
“Today’s announcement represents a significant step towards realising large area, but more importantly high efficiency, organic photovoltaic technologies,” explained Dr Bryon Larson, NREL scientist and project leader of the SolarWindow CRADA.
“For years, the prospect of high-performance organic photovoltaics appeared beyond reach. The latest power conversion efficiency numbers achieved by NREL and SolarWindow show promise for the future of large-area low-cost organic photovoltaics,” stated Dr Bertrand J. Tremolet de Villers, NREL scientist and expert in scale-up processing of photovoltaic devices.
Notably, today’s record-setting achievement has been enabled by the support of Raynergy Tek. The Company’s long-standing collaboration with Raynergy has optimised the power and transparency of SolarWindow electricity-generating products under development. Headquartered in Taiwan and backed by several publicly listed companies, Raynergy Tek is a world leader in organic photovoltaics technology and develops next-generation materials in chemistry, materials science and device physics.
SolarWindow device performance measurement and certification was conducted independently from the CRADA team by NREL’s Device Performance Measurement Laboratory. The Device Performance Measurement Laboratory facility for calibrating primary reference cells is one of four in the world certified in accordance with the World Photovoltaic Scale, and the only U.S. laboratory certified to calibrate primary reference cells, secondary reference cells, secondary reference modules, cells, and modules.
The Laboratory is accredited by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation to ISO 17025 standards for calibration of primary and secondary reference cells and secondary modules. Measurements outside the scope of the ISO 17025 accreditation are accredited to ISO 9001 standards by Orion Registrar.
This accreditation gives test results the same stature as those performed by a national metrology laboratory, such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology, but with the added breadth and depth of NREL capabilities. The Device Performance Measurement Laboratory has been accurately measuring the performance of PV devices for decades and has more than 190 years of combined professional experience.
Caption: Dr James Whitaker announces SolarWindow record power conversion efficiency (photo: SolarWindow)