Submitted by: crystalsol GmbH
Implemented country: Estonia
Title: Photovoltaics: The Next Generation
Crystalsol is a company specialized in developing innovative photovoltaic membranes based on a revolutionary patented technology. The company was founded by Wolfgang Ressler and partners in 2008 and has two strings to its bow: Research and development in the field of semiconducting materials, which is performed in the Estonian capital of Tallinn together with the Technical University of Tallinn. Module development, on the other hand, is done in Vienna, Austria. Both locations have a staff of 12 researchers. Wolfgang Ressler was inspired to use this fascinating technology in the field of photovoltaics by his sense of responsibility towards the environment. His goal is to generate power from photovoltaic cells that can compete with fossil fuel sources.
Crystalsol’s innovative technology is based on research from the 1960s by the Russian military as well as by NXP Semiconductors, a Philips affiliate. The Technical University of Tallinn has been doing research in this field for over three decades as well. This special technology combines the advantages of crystalline materials with that of roll-to-roll manufacturing processes. At the same time expensive or scarce raw materials such as silicon, indium, or tellurium don’t have to be used, which helps save money as far as production is concerned. The light-absorbing layers consist of a monocrystalline semi-conductor coating compound, a new material called CZTS. This special material consists of approximately 40-micrometer-small crystals of copper, zinc, tin, selenium, and sulphur that are applied to a flexible surface at low temperatures by a simple process. Each individual particle, also called a monograin, is a tiny solar cell that generates electricity.
This combination of a simple, robust technology with state-of-the-art semiconductor research offers massive cost reduction as well as higher flexibility for different applications. Wolfgang Ressler states that Crystalsol technology will reduce costs as compared to traditional silicon solar cells by 50 to 60 per cent, at the same time lowering production costs to only € 0.3 per watt peak. Crystalsol’s long-term business goals are making and selling photovoltaic modules for building integration.
“One of the most abundant powers on the earth is the sun, so we better use it.”