Professor Mellikov, the co-founder of Crystalsol, has been working on semiconductor materials development for more than 30 years. The team is now developing an entirely new type of flexible photovoltaic film that has a significant cost and versatility advantage compared to all currently known photovoltaic technologies: the patented technology combines the advantages of the high efficiency single-crystalline materials and the low cost of roll-to-roll production.
The core innovation is the light absorbing layer made of a patented new crystalline semiconductor powder with a typical diameter of 40 μm arranged as a single layer fixed by a polymer film. As every semiconductor particle is a tiny photovoltaic cell, it does not make a difference how large the finished film has to be. This is an advantage compared to all the thin film technologies where all upscaling to larger areas requires costly and time consuming development.
Although in one hour more energy from the sun reaches our planet than humanity has ever produced, the price of that energy has remained high because of the cost of the solar panels. Since every particle in the powderized material forms a minuscule solar battery of its own, it does not make a big difference how large a surface needs to be covered with the film in the end. Apart from their noticeable cost-efficiency, the monograin powders are also more nature-friendly and stand out as being extremely flexible – by covering a surface with the monograin powder, almost every surface in one’s house can literally be turned into a solar panel.
Crystalsol is currently developing the technology of the monograin powders for everyday use and is getting ready to launch their small-scale production of solar panels.
Copywriter: Marion Jõepera