Partners

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) – France

Institution Description

The National Center for Scientific Research, or CNRS, is a public organization under the responsibility of the French Ministry of Education and Research. Founded in 1939 by governmental decree, the CNRS aims to:

  • Evaluate and carry out all research capable of advancing knowledge and bringing social, cultural, and economic benefits for society.
  • Contribute to the promotion and application of research results.
  • Develop scientific information.
  • Support research training.
  • Participate in the analysis of the national and international scientific climate and its potential for evolution in order to develop a national policy.
Main tasks attributed in the project

The CNRS partner, through the “Laboratoire de Réactivité et Chimie des Solides” – CNRS UMR7314 Group of Photovoltaic and photoelectrochemistry, aims at developping new semi-conductor and redox couples adapted to NIR-dye sensitized solar cells. CNRS will be also responsible for its optimization towards boosting the power conversion efficiency at the level of min. 8 % (A.M.1.5G) and bringing the stability to satisfy IEC61646 test protocol.

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) – Switzerland

Institution Description

The Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is one of only two federally funded universities in Switzerland the other being the ETH in Zrich. The three overall goals of EPFL are education, research and technology transfer at the highest international level. EPFL is ranked in the top 20 institutions in Europe, and the Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering (ISIC) was awarded an excellent grade in the latest CHE-ranking. Over 100 nationalities are represented on campus and more than 50% of our professors come from abroad making the school one of the most cosmopolitan and diverse universities in the world. The EPFL campus comprises more than 10’000 people. The EPFL offers 13 complete study programs at the Bachelor and Master levels in engineering, basic sciences, computer and communication sciences, life sciences, civil engineering, architecture and the environment. These study programs are designed to be flexible and modular. Within the EPFL’s Doctoral School, PhD students share ideas, provide mutual support and intellectual stimulation, and round out their education with high-level specialized courses. PhD students benefit from the EPFL’s scientific expertise and excellent infrastructure. With more than 250 laboratories and research groups on campus, the EPFL is one of Europe’s most innovative and productive technology institutes.

The infrastructure at the EPFL provides access to the latest state-of-the- art instrumentation, excellent computing facilities, database engines, etc. necessary to support the project. The students and employees have access to all relevant scientific literature with the library system. The library of the EPFL features the latest up-to-date literature, books and reference, including over 4000 journals, many of which are online electronically. In addition, the major facilities available within the institute include a fully equipped analytical service including FT-ICR, Q-ToF and MALDI mass spectrometry, 18 NMRs including 500, 600 and 800 MHz instruments equipped with cryoprobes, 3 X-ray diffractometers. The institute maintains a long-term investment program in collaboration to guarantee access to the most modern analytical equipment. The mechanical workshop service employs 9 engineers a complete electronic workshop service is also available with 3 full time staff. ISIC employs 6 engineers and two technicians for the maintenance of large equipment such as NMR, for the design of new instrumentation and for support in computing.

Main tasks attributed in the project

Tasks of EPFL:

EPFL will be involved mainly in WP2, of which it is WP leader, WP3, WP4 and WP5. Main activities foreseen are the following:

  • Profiting from the high open circuit photo-voltage output of the PSC (Voc > 1.2 V) we aim at reaching a PCE of 6 % from 80% transparent PSC top layer alone.

  • Development of new perovskite compositions to reach 5 % PCE with near UV absorbing PSC device that produces a Voc of at least 1.8 V

  • Fabrication of high efficiency DSC devices using NIR dyes and monitoring their stability.

  • Development of new metal oxide scaffolds for PSCs and DSCs.

Development of new transparent redox electrolytes.

Profile of EPFL:

EPFL is an established world leader for dye- and perovskite-sensitized solar cells having pioneered both solar cells concepts. This is documented by high-impact publications throughout the years as well as a dedicated effort towards certifying device performances on a regular basis (which make EPFL the only European lab to certify perovskite solar cells). Based on this expertise, EPFL has an ideal profile to fulfil the above tasks:

  • EPFL demonstrated that the small and oxidation-stable Rb+ cation can be embedded into a “cation cascade” to create a perovskite material capable of achieving efficiencies up to 21.6% with a record open– circuit voltages of 1.24 V. Importantly, these materials passed the stringent endurance tests being exposed simultaneously to full sun light and 85 °C for 500 h while operating at their maximum power point. EPFL has not optimized these compounds fully

  • It is currently very challenging to increase the perovskite thickness without losing film quality. EPFL has developed expertise to handle the perovskite material including thickness variations. Already some if the highest currents are reported at EPFL at therefore it is reasonable that this can be pushed to the theoretical limit in the future.

  • Similar to the multication approach, EPFL has the expertise to screen, characterize and assess complex material group. This includes especially perovskite materials that are only varied through the metal positions. However, this knowledge can be extended towards perovskite-like materials as well where expertise is required to develop the material and to translate it towards a high throughput of devices

  • EPFL has recently developed a new method for depositing this wide band semiconductor in the form of thin films. EPFL identified the reason for its notorious instability and succeeded in solving the problem by introducing a separation layer between the CuSCN and the back contact. This led to PSCs showing a PCE over 20 % and excellent stability both under long term heat stress at 85 °C and prolonged light soaking. Since the parameter space for sample development is very large, the optimization procedures need to be supported by predictive methods which will allow to focus solar cell test series only on promising preparation formulations.

University of Torino (UNITO) – Italy

Institution Description

The University of Torino (UNITO) is one of the largest Italian Universities, with about 70.000 students, 3.900 employees (academic, administrative and technical staff), 1.800 post-graduate and post-doctoral research fellows. Research and training are performed in 27 Departments, encompassing all scientific disciplines.

According to ARWU international ranking, UNITO is ranked among the top 300 universities out of 1.200, together with other five Italian universities. UNITO is ranked in the top three Italian universities in nine scientific areas out of 16. In particular, UNITO is ranked in the first position in the following areas: biological sciences, historical, philosophical and pedagogical sciences, and chemical sciences.

As for internationalization, UNITO is involved in about 450 international cooperation formal agreements with institutions from all around the world (South America, Mediterranean countries, India and China, in addition to Europe), including joint educational programs at undergraduate and doctoral level.

UNITO is deeply involved in scientific research and manages roughly 500 projects per year, both at the national and international level. The long record of participation of UNITO in the EU strategic research agenda results from 115 FP7 funded research projects, among which 33 UNITO- coordinated projects, 4 ERC grants as host institution and 4 Research Infrastructure projects. Under H2020, 67 projects have been funded so far, among which 15 coordinated projects, 5 ERC grants as host institution and 4 Research Infrastructure projects.

Main tasks attributed in the project

Within IMPRESSIVE project, UNITO’s main tasks are: 1) theoretical analysis of the electronic and spectroscopic properties of several classes of NIR and UV dyes, 2) development of theoretical model for charge transport at interface and charge mobility in small molecules HTM 3) synthesis of novel dyes with absorption in the NIR (and UV or panchromatic with low epsilon) region of the electromagnetic spectrum, with high photo-stability and thermal stability 4) synthesis of transparent HTM for perovskite solar cells 5) formulation of sealant and encapsulant polymeric material for device assembly 6) small area DSSC realization and testing 7) scale up procedures for HTM and organic dye.

University Tor Vergata (UTV) – Italy

Institution Description

The University has established in 2006 together with the Lazio Region the “Centre for Hybrid and Organic Solar Energy” (CHOSE). The centre’s objectives are the research and development for the industrialization of organic and hybrid organic-inorganic technologies via three main steps:

  • Define a technological process for organic/hybrid cells,
  • Develop fabrication processes for industrialization,
  • Foster technology transfer towards SMEs. CHOSE has more than 1000 sqm of laboratory with all the equipment necessary to carry out research on hybrid and organic photovoltaic technology and to scale them up.

In particular, the laboratory has been set up with a vast range of equipment for the fabrication and testing of Dye Sesitized, Perovskite and Polymeric cells and large modules on glass, metal and polymeric. CHOSE includes an outdoor meteorological and panel measurement station (ESTER). Other laboratories include material characterization labs and outdoor testing facilities. CHOSE is member of the EERA-PV platform and GRAPHENE Flagship and spun-out 5 companies working in the field of photovoltaics and related technologies/applications. CHOSE designed and developed for Permasteelisa company, a world leader in the field of glass facades for building, a Pilot Line for fabrication of Dye Solar cell integrated in facades (DYEPOWER). CHOSE participates to different H2020 and national projects on Perovskite modules on Perovksite/Silicon tandem.

Main tasks attributed in the project

CHOSE laboratory of the University of Rome Tor Vergata has a large experience in Building Integrated PhotoVoltaic (BIPV) with Dye Solar Cells and is now developing BIPV also using Perovskite Solar Cells. All these activities have been/are developed with high TRL (4-6) and high Manufacture Readiness Lever (4-6). As an example is the desing and realization of a Pilot line for the production of Dye Solar Cells for BIPV. The line was design for a throughput of 10000 sqm/year with a module size of 20x30cm2 and a panel size of 1 sqm. This experience will be beneficial for the success of the project. In particular, UNITOV will be involved in 1) the design of the tandem supported by simulation tools developed by UTV itself (TiberCad multiscale simulation software); the fabrication of the tandem semitransparent solar cells; 3) the realization of scaled semitransparent perovskite solar cell and modules and 4) strong synergy with HGLASS for scaling up of the tandem cells for BIPV.

HGlass (HG) former Glass2EnergySwitzerland

Institution Description

HGlass was founded in 2011 with the vision to develop the Eco-Habitat and become a world leader in sustainable living. HGlass develops, produces and commercialises dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC) panels for generating electricity in architectural applications, i.e. building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) aiming at the exploitation of glass facades. With its unique hermetic glass sealing technology HGlass surmounted the sealing problem, which had hampered industrialization of the technology for the past 20 years.

HGlass maintains a total staff of 54 employees at its production facilities in Villaz-St-Pierre and at its Research and Development center at EPFL Innovation Park. HGlass received the Watt d’Or 2014 Award from the Swiss Government’s department of Energy generating major interest from both the public and private sectors.

The company has an in-depth know-how of the critical issues regarding device construction and manufacturing processes for this technology. Long-time stability problems of DSC are known to arise from imperfect device/cell encapsulation methods which mostly employ sealing using polymer based adhesives (hot melt/epoxy based), plastic sheets, and/or foil encapsulation techniques. To date, these sealing techniques and materials have not proven to be durable enough to guarantee long-time stability during outdoor operation, and therefore are not suitable for HGlass’ target of BIPV market.

During the start-up phase, HGlass has developed a proprietary technology for rapid hermetic sealing of DSC modules, which is suitable for mass production. This unique glass processing technology provides the most effective barrier against humidity and oxygen, alleviating any concern for module durability. Glass sealing technology and large module sizes enable the company to meet the market demand for large units in high surface area architectural projects. Currently, HGlass is completing a series of tests for IEC 61646 certification. Securing a supply chain to reduce the cost of raw materials, a pipeline of innovative developments has been another major part of activities since the inception of HGlass. Specifically, the most expensive raw materials (dye, electrolyte, and TiO2 nano-particles) are produced in-house, delivered by sister companies or produced by HGlass

shareholder.

Main tasks attributed in the project

Tasks of HGlass:

HGlass will be involved mainly in up scaling of DSC modules, WP6, of which it is WP leader. Main activities foreseen are the following:

  • Fabrication of a large surface single cell, 10 x 150 mm, using NIR dyes and transparent redox electrolytes developed by WP3.
  • Fabrication of 150 x 150 mm high efficiency DSC module using the same NIR dyes and transparent redox electrolytes.
  • Fabrication of large area modules, 745 x 745 mm, using NIR dyes and transparent redox electrolyte developed by WP3.
  • HGlass will monitor the outdoor and indoor electrical performance and stability of samples by proposing appropriate electrical connection and BOS (Balance of System)

HGlass USP’s and industrial strengths are:

  • Unique and proprietary glass encapsulation: providing the only sure way to avoid both unwanted water ingress into the cell and leakage of the liquid electrolyte components from the cell. HGlass is the only company with this know-how.
  • Large size modules for façade application: HGlass manufactures modules of up to 800 x 1000 mm size. This is critically important for the BIPV market – from both practical and aesthetic standpoints. In Q4 of 2018 an even larger size product measuring 1000 x 1000 mm will be launched. This will further increase HGlass’ lead over potential competitors.
  • HGlass modules combine high transparency with high efficiency: With 4% solar to electric power conversion efficiency (PCE), on total area, and 35% transparency, HGlass produces DSC modules with the highest performance and transparency.
  • HGlass’ industrial production line is fully operational: . It is now running at its peak capacity of 20,000 modules per year in 3 shifts. 
HGlass see through panels have distinct advantages over conventional silicon-based solar cells in Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) applications. Importantly, HGlass panels offer a large flexibility in tailoring their light-harvesting spectrum by judicious selection of the sensitizer as well as the film thickness. Importantly HGlass panels come naturally as a bifacial photovoltaic, capturing light from the front and backside. These features render the DSC particularly efficient in harvesting in ambient light, (e.g. albedo, diffuse sunlight, cloudy conditions, and at dusk and dawn, where it outperforms all PV competitors including GaAs. Also, DSCs do not exhibit the 20% decline in the PCE with increasing temperature from 25°C to 65°C (normal operating temperature) which is typical for silicon. Finally, the angle of incidence of incoming light has a low impact on its photovoltaic performance. The entire building envelope (NESW façade orientations, roof) as well as indoor space can thus be dedicated to power generation. The HGlass technology features transparent glass elements that can be produced in a palette of colors and shapes, opening new and esthetically attractive design possibilities for architects. Thus, DSCs open up new markets that are not accessible to conventional photovoltaic. These highly attractive products come as an addition to state-of-the-art photovoltaic power generation systems with added value in architectural design and a proven stable efficient power production even under ambient lower intensity light.

SmartGreenScans (SMART) Netherlands

Institution Description

SmartGreenScans is a Dutch consultancy company specialized in performing Life Cycle Assessments of Photovoltaics to determine life-cycle environmental impacts and resource depletion, including evaluation of Carbon Footprint, Toxicity, energy payback time and life-cycle emissions to air and water. Website: www.smartgreenscans.nl

Main tasks attributed in the project

Main task in this project is to perform the Life Cycle Assessment.

Euroquality (EQY) – France

Institution Description

Established in 1997, Euroquality is a service provider specialised in innovation consulting and project management. Its main activities are innovation consulting, economic studies, policy evaluation, technological and technical studies, development of communication material, training, and the management of national and European projects. For 20 years, Euroquality has been able to adapt the different technological mutations and always be at the top of the state of the art, advising international clients on the development of their innovations. Euroquality has also been involved as a partner in a large number of projects on PF6, FP7, H2020, LIFE +, LIFE, Leonardo and Erasmus+ programmes, bringing its knowledge on several technical topics and its strong expertise on the management of EU projects and rules. This expertise is considered essential by most coordinator of projects EQY has worked with, as it helps ensuring the right implementation of the project in due time and by respecting the rules, using already approved methodologies and tools.

Main tasks attributed in the project

Euroquality will be responsible for the information management, will animate the consortium and develop tools that will facilitate know-how exchanges and collaborative work. Euroquality will also be in charge of the communication and dissemination activities in close collaboration with the coordinator and all partners of the project. Finally, Euroquality will take care of the exploitation and develop the business plan and to make the like with InnoEnergy.

Euroquality has a strong experience in these domain, occupying the role of Exploitation manager the H2020 S- PARCS and the role of Project manager and Administrative and Financial manager in the FP7 WINETWORK project.