Organic solar cells are widely viewed as having significant potential for delivering low cost solar photovoltaic (PV) power, but currently are not as efficient as other low cost alternatives in converting sunlight to energy.
Organic solar cells have great promise in portable power and building integrated applications because of their mechanical flexibility and light weight. These applications require new device architectures and materials with tailored spectral properties.
This project investigated and developed new materials and device architectures to improve the efficiency of next generation organic solar cells.
It also delivered a new understanding of the basic processes that lead to the creation of electricity from sunlight in organic solar cells.
This information is critical to push the efficiency boundaries to a point where commercial viability becomes a reality.
The project applied concepts from traditional photovoltaic systems made from inorganic semiconductors, and tested their validity to carbon-based plastic semiconductors.
Report: Market & Technology Analysis for Organic Photovoltaics
Full commercialisation of organic photovoltaics (OPV) is hindered by scaling issues – by 2018 modules must demonstrate proven efficiencies of > 8%, lifetimes in excess of 10 years and must be manufactured at a cost of < $0.5/watt if OPV is to be competitive with existing and other emerging PV technologies.
The project has contributed to reducing the price of organic solar cells, which will drive uptake of the technology and in so doing lower the cost of solar energy.