The Polish company Saule Technologies has created the world’s first production line for solar panels based on new perovskite technology which could revolutionize access to solar power.
Saule Technologies launched the solar panel production line on Friday last week in Wroclaw. The panels are being produced based on innovative photovoltaic cells designed by the company’s owner, Olga Malinkiewicz, which create energy both from the Sun and artificial light.
The company’s owners emphasized that this is the world’s first production line for solar panels which are based on new perovskite technology. Pervoskites are minerals comprised of calcium, titanium and oxygen. They can be found in nature, but can also be created artificially.
Malinkiewicz explained that perovskites are already being used in many countries, but the uniqueness of her company’s technology is that their solar panels are printed on thin polymer sheets.
“This works like printing something from a huge ink printer,” she said.
Malinkiewicz has been working on this technology for seven years. On Friday, a factory has been opened which can produce up to 40,000 square meters of the sheets with imprinted cells within a year.
The company’s owner explained that the panels can cover a multitude of objects including roof tiles, building facades, windows, sails, clothing, tablets, and laptops. The panels may also power drones and satellites. Saule Technologies is still testing the panels but has declared that they plan to initiate production for the company’s first counterparties as early as this year. The company also plans to enter the Warsaw Stock Exchange in 2021.
The cost of the perovskite panels is comparable to traditional silicon ones. Malinkiewicz stated that with the initiation of production, the price of the new panels will go down as they require less energy to produce (and are created at room temperature) than conventional panels, which is one of the new technology’s advantages.
Saule Technologies also added that the new panels have better cell efficiency and durability. For now, they last up to 10 years, but the company is certain that their lifespan can be expanded to 25 years. Unlike silicon panels, they are also efficient at artificial lighting.
Saule Technologies, initiated cooperation with Olga Malinkiewicz in 2014 while the company was still a start-up. At the time, Malinkiewicz was studying in Spain. She moved to Wroclaw and together with the company they initiated the production of solar panels. Saule Technologies now employs over 40 people from 17 countries and received €4.35 million from the National Center for Development and Research for the mass-production of pervoskite panels.
Title image: Olga Malinkiewicz with one of the perovskite modules, source: Saule Technologies.