Industry Round Table on Future Challenges of Photovoltaics

July 4th, 2018 Wednesday, July 4, 2018, 14:00. ICFO’s Auditorium

As part of this year’s ICFO School on the Frontiers of Light: Emerging Photovoltaics, we have invited four leading international experts to discuss future challenges of photovoltaics, and perspectives for new/emerging technologies. Our guests will provide different perspectives on how cutting-edge research and technologies are being used in various different industrial settings. The event will include short presentations from each of our speakers, followed by a round-table discussion moderated by Alastair Cunningham, Project Portfolio Manager in the ICFO KTT team.


Dr. Olga Malinkiewicz (CTO at Saule Technologies)
Perovskite Solar Cells
Perovskite solar cells have a great commercial potential, but there still remain a few challenges, which need to be resolved to prove the viability of the technology. Some of the well-known issues include material stability and presence of lead in the active layer. Furthermore, cost-effective, reliable fabrication process capable of delivering highly efficient, large-area perovskite modules is yet to be demonstrated. In my lecture, I would like to address practical aspects of bringing perovskite solar cells from a lab to the market. We will discuss viability and maturity of the technology from business perspective.

Dr. Ignasi Burgués (Research Scientist at Merck Chemicals)
’Organic Photovoltaics’
The emergence of a new generation of non-fullerene acceptors has revolutionised the field of Organic Photovoltaics (OPV) in the last 2-3 years. All the players in the OPV community agree that this new class of materials will be key to consolidate this technology in the market. Merck, as a global partner, is working closely both with academics and with industrial customers to face the challenges yet to be addressed. In this talk we will discuss on these challenges and we will share our vision for the future development of OPV.

Dr. Sjoerd Hoogland (CTO at QD Solar)
Quatum Dot Solar Cells
The cost of solar power is currently dominated by the Balance-of-Systems, which means that to reach grid parity the efficiency of the solar panels have to be greatly increased. QD Solar provides a solution to improve the power output of silicon solar panels by more than 20%. In this talk we will outline the ground-breaking technology that can make solar power cost-effective on the global scale.

Dr. Grzegorz Potoczny (Senior Manager Production, OPVIUS)
’Production of Customized Organic Photovoltaics’
OPV is a renowned solar technology for its thin and semitransparent properties. Organic polymer materials allow easy formulation and empower OPV to be realized in roll-to-roll (R2R) formats by printing or coating. To realize power generation everywhere, customers and designers are eager for PV solutions offering total design freedom for seamless integration into every day’s life. This trend becomes even more important if the Mega-City development is taken into account: more and more people will live in city environments in the future while classical PV technologies do not offer proper solutions for this context. Accordingly, the next wave of renewable energies will not be stand-alone products like today but will rather be a kind of integrated functionality. Organic Photovoltaics (OPVs) already broaden applications as they are manufactured on polymer foil where final product is thin, flexible and semi-transparent. However, OPV modules are commonly printed / coated in form of stripes that limits their design layout and integration. Therefore, the current state of the OPV manufacturing process needs to be modified to allow fabrication of free patterns and fully customized devices. In this contribution we present the approach Pioneered by OPVIUS in evolution of OPV towards customization in large volumes to meet customer expectations.