Case Stories

Case story - RISØ-DTU

Case story - RISØ-DTU

Grafisk Maskinfabrik has provided several pieces of equipment for roll-to-roll (R2R) mass production of polymer solar cells to the RISØ-DTU Solar Energy Program in Denmark:
• The Solar-2 for printing polymer cell.
• Laser-cutter for precision cutting of rolls into small cells.
• LA330 laminator for edge sealing and lamination of cells.
• ETV330C sheeting machine with un-wind, transport roller camera, knife cutter and conveyor for fast sheeting of cells.

RISØ DTU has spent more than ten years of intensive research and development in bringing polymer solar cells into mass production. Polymer solar cells which is an inexpensive alternative to silicon solar cells, has a significant industrial potential. The current development at Risø-DTU now allows R2R manufacturing of polymer cells at a rate that is 8.000 times faster than current silicone cell production. This High-speed roll-to-roll printing allows for processing of as many square meters of polymer solar cells in one hour as a crystalline Silicon solar cell plant produces in one year.

Production of polymer solar cells starts from a roll of flexible foil on to which the solar cell is built layer by layer by printing and finally rolled up onto the coil again. Encapsulated and ready-to-use units can thereafter be cut and laminated from the roll and according to the customer’s specification. As the whole process from feedstock to the finished product is performed roll-to-roll, the new production line paves the way towards mass production of solar cells and thereby correspondingly low prices.

The GM Solar-2 is based on two conjoined GM modules that forms the base of the printing machine. The line has then been fitted with a custom-made RISØ DTU slot-die printing head, a Stork rotary screen printer and a flexographic print roller for a total of three different coating and printing methods. The modular base means that additional stations can easily be retrofitted if required.

Professor Frederik C. Krebs from Risø-DTU is the driving force behind the Danish polymer solar cells. Ten years ago he started out with a bright idea, his two hands and a strong dedication. Today Frederik Krebs is the head of an international leading research team counting more than 25 persons – a team capable of combining world-class science with a strong desire to bring science into real life. The Risø team distinguishing themselves by being first to demonstrate new and innovative applications for the polymer solar cell: “The Solar Hat” – a hat powering a small FM radio (Roskilde Festival 2008), a solar-powered reading lamp for African school children (Zambia 2009) and the world's first grid-connected PV installation based on the polymer technology (Risø 2009).

“GM's development of machines for production of polymer solar cells has taken the company on a innovative journey. It has been a good way for us to further enhance our products and penetrate into new markets. Our collaboration in recent years with the scientists at Risø DTU concerning the technology for manufacturing plastic solar cells has also opened our eyes for an innovative product like solar cells that provides the energy supply in wireless sensors and communication devices and other consumer electronic products where a small energy source is required as a replacement for batteries,” says Uffe Nielsen,  Director of Grafisk Maskinfabrik A/S.


Fast Inline Roll-to-Roll Printing for Indium-Tin-Oxide-Free Polymer Solar Cells Using Automatic Registration (PRINTED on GM Solar Coater)

Freely available OPV-The fast way to progress (PRINTED on GM Solar Coater)

Roll-to-roll fabrication of polymer solar cells

DOI Links:

Article 1

Article 2

Usefull links:

Fast Inline R2R Printing for ITO free polymer Solar cells Using Automatic Registration. Frederik C. Krebs, Et.Al.

The following links articles are not free, but can be downloaded for a fee.

Fabrication and processing of polymer solar cells: A review of printing and coating techniques. Frederik C. Krebs

Roll-to-roll processed polymer tandem solar cells partially processed from water. Frederik C. Krebs, Et.Al.

Life cycle assessment of ITO-free flexible polymer solar cells prepared by roll-to-roll coating and printing. Nieves Espinosa, Et.Al.

Upscaling of polymer solar cell fabrication using full roll-to-roll processing. Frederik C. Krebs, Thomas Tromholt and Mikkel Jørgensen

A roll-to-roll process to flexible polymer solar cells: model studies, manufacture and operational stability studies. Frederik C. Krebs, Suren A. Gevorgyan and Jan Alstrup

Product integration of compact roll-to-roll processed polymer solar cell modules: methods and manufacture using flexographic printing, slot-die coating and rotary screen printing. Frederik C. Krebs, Jan Fyenbo and Mikkel Jørgensen

ITO-free flexible polymer solar cells: From small model devices to roll-to-roll processed large modules. Matthieu Manceau, Dechan Angmo, Mikkel Jørgensen, Frederik C. Krebs

Roll-to-roll fabrication of polymer solar cells. Roar Søndergaard, Markus Hösel, Dechan Angmo, Thue T. Larsen-Olsen, Frederik C. Krebs