OPVIUS develops new production process for freeform OPV modules
Kitzingen, Germany – Customised OPV modules in all colours and shapes are a speciality available on the market solely thanks to OPVIUS OPV production technology. This offer is the key to the successful preparation of solar-active semi-finished sheets from various segments of industry, to which an energy-generating surface is added. With regard to the well-known current application of photovoltaic – mainly as free-standing and roof installations – this is a quantum leap towards the integration of renewable energy sources in all spheres of daily life.
In many spheres of industry, the preparation of a customised offer involves high costs and low volumes. But the print technology used as a basis at OPVIUS allows a comparatively simple adaptation of customer requirements without any significant impact on volumes or costs structure.
Thus – thanks to its unique OPV production process based on a combination of coating, print and laser processes – OPVIUS GmbH is already the world’s only producer of customised freeform OPV modules. The new process allows further far-reaching possibilities in OPV freeform production.
Tobias Sauermann, Director of Production at OPVIUS explains: “What sets the OPVIUS production process apart is, last but not least, the application of developed finishing processes such as in the printing industry, combined with the type of finishing strategy used in automobile construction. By means of our technology building blocks we produce as many varied products as possible, all of which involve as many identical, partly adjusted, processing steps.“ He adds: “Looking at this from the angle of finishing technology, the biggest challenge is to leave the changeover from uniform finishing to customised finishing as late as possible in the production process. The new process has allowed us to move the split-up into individual variants until the end of the frontend process. From the point of view of production logistics, this is a milestone.“
In classic OPV production, the shape of the final product is determined already in the first step of production. In the newly-developed process, all structure-forming steps are performed after the substrate sheets have been coated.
“Our new structuring process, called <P1-Star>, results in far-reaching changes: In principle, it is now possible to produce an OPV base role, from which, for instance, products can be adapted to customer requirements on the one hand, and on the other hand a major part of production can now take place without minute attention to dimensions, because all the structures are only included at the end of the process“, says Mr. Sri Subramaniam, process expert at OPVIUS. “Thus, we can minimise all the effects of the preceding process steps. This simplifies the process and has a positive effect on the performance param eters of our products.“
The new process will be applied first to the prototype line of OPVIUS GmbH. The broad introduction of the <P1-Star> process is planned by the end of next year.