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Next-gen solar power wonder material signs first commercial distribution contract

Saule Technologies has signed a distribution agreement, with the Skanska Group, to sell their perovskite based solar panels. The two companies expect to install a project in Poland in 2018 using test cells.

This is the first time I’ve heard of any company signing actual contracts to market and install perovskite. The panels are expected to offer 100W/m2 – an approximately 10% efficient solar panel.

Saule Technologies has been working on perovskite since 2014. The solar panel is printed in an ink jet like process (see the video below). This technique gives significant production freedom.

Olga Malinkiewicz, co-founder and CTO at Saule Technologies, said,

“We may customize the shape, color and size of the module depending on the needs of the customer and install them wherever there is a free area of the building. This also means not being limited to the roof.”

The current goal to have a full production line up is listed as Autumn of 2018. In an email with Electrek, Saule said it’s currently working on choosing the right vendors to create globally unique, leading edge hardware. The production line is planed to be in Wroclaw, Poland. Various grants and investments totaling €20 million are driving this construction.

Skanska Group says its commercial business development unit in Central Eastern Europe will be the first to deploy the product. The two companies signed an agreement giving Skanska distribution rights for applications including building facades and noise barriers across Europe and the USA.

Questions are out to the two companies regarding panel efficiency, price per watt, panel lifetime and whether Skanska has signed any deals with customers yet.

The company released a press image showing a potential structure with the material:

Electrek’s Take

Perovskite takes another headline – this one though, instead of being about wonderful research, is about actual sales contracts moving forward. Of course – there’s not an actual project signed yet, though I suspect a corporation of that size will quickly distribute a technical description of the product to the sales teams and one of those many sales people will speak with an architect somewhere – and just like that it happens.

I like this video on their site because midway through it they show thin layers of perovskite being put across all kinds of surfaces – laptop backs, cell phones, glass, etc.

NREL has an idea of adding a layer of quantum dots above a solar panel (or windows) to up performance. Oxford PV wants to do the same – but instead with a layer of perovskite over the whole of a solar panel…but Oxford isn’t selling.

Again, lots of research on perovskite – color changing windows, hexagonal structuring to up long-term stability, and the potential of way higher efficiencies – an Australian 26.4% solar cell.

Is it possible perovskite will lose its vapor ware moniker in 2018?

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