NLAB Solar secured an additional SEK18 million in financing from industrial partner Fasadglas Bäcklin AB, Scandinavian glass facade company. NLAB Solar will be using the funds to construct a pilot plant for production of 3rd generation dye sensitized solar cells.
(November 17, 2010) — NLAB Solar secured an additional SEK18 million in financing from industrial partner Fasadglas Bäcklin AB, Scandinavian glass facade company. The purpose of the partnership and financing is to accelerate product development at NLAB Solar and reduce time to market.
NLAB Solar will be using the funds to construct a pilot plant for production of 3rd generation solar cells, in Stockholm. Dye Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSC), also known as Grätzel cells or third generation solar cells, are based on natural chemistry. The working principle of the DSSC can be described as artificial photosynthesis, utilizing a synthetic dye adsorbed on titanium dioxide instead of chlorophyll to convert sunlight into green power. NLAB Solar’s technology for transparent DSSC — a photonic crystal — allows them to boost the conversion of sunlight to electrical energy by up to 37% above competition.
NLAB Solar’s method of increasing efficiency makes the solar cells more efficient under indirect and diffuse illumination, or even indoors. This makes it possible to use the entire facades of large buildings in urban environments for power production in spite of poor light conditions. The goal is to power one square meter of office space with one square meter of solar cell facade. NLAB Solar’s cells are estimated to cost 20% of the current price on silicon solar cells. Another property that makes the product highly attractive to the glass market is the possibility of tailoring transparency and color of the solar cells, which will allow them to replace solar control film in warm countries. The global glass market for NLAB solar is estimated to be in excess of 3 billion square meters per annum.
“The entire DSSC business is at the verge of a commercial breakthrough and together with its new partner, NLAB Solar has a strong position and can advance rapidly,” says Professor Michael Grätzel, inventor of the DSSC and the winner of the Millennium Technology Grand Prize in 2010.
The partnership between NLAB Solar and Fasadglas promotes integration of power-generating facades for ecologically sustainable and self-powered buildings. Through the partnership with Fasadglas, NLAB gains access to unique knowledge of the market as well as distribution, installation and sales for commercialization within its prioritized field of business: façade- and building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).
“Fasadglas is our customer, and now we have more than a product, we have a well-known distributor with extensive experience in solar power installations and a market for our product,” says Giovanni Fili, CEO, NLAB Solar.
NLAB Solar was founded in 2008 as a daughter company to the materials development company Nanologica AB. For more information about NLAB solar, please visit www.nlabsolar.com