Belectric Aquires Konarka’s Organic Solar Cell Assets
Belectric, a Germany-based solar developer, financier, and construction firm with more than one gigawatt deployed has acquired the assets of bankrupt organic solar cell firm Konarka’s German operations, Konarka Technologies GmbH.
The company would not disclose information on the price, terms of the deal, or IP involved. This deal involves a headcount of 16 people according to a company spokesperson. The new Belectric OPV group will be led by Konarka’s former Director of European Operations and current CEO Dr. Ralph Pätzold.
Michael Belschak, CFO of Belectric, said in a statement, “We will use Power Plastic wherever conventional modules aren’t a suitable solution. Particularly in facade construction and in the automotive sector, the highly flexible and pliable material can be used in a variety of ways to save energy cost-effectively.” In the same optimistic vein, Belschak said he is expecting the first revenue to be generated as early as the second half of 2013.
Organic solar cells (OSCs), sometimes referred to as third-generation solar after crystalline silicon and thin-film solar technology, can be divided into two categories: polymer-based (large molecules) and oligomer-based (small molecules). Konarka prints large molecule polymers.
Organic solar cells hold the promise of low-cost production, but their efficiencies tend to be very low. Heliatek had a recent world record for organic solar cells — a champion cell on a small area with 10.7 percent efficiency. Long-term reliability and degradation issues remain with the technology, however. In 2009, GTM Research estimated worldwide capacity of OSCs to be just 5 megawatts.
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