Heliatek has announced a record breaking 12 % cell efficiency with its organic solar cells in tests performed in cooperation with the University of Ulm and TU Dresden. Cell performance was measured by test agency SGS, which also validated the better low-light and high-temperature characteristics of organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices compared to traditional solar technologies. The tested Heliatek solar cell combines two absorber materials, which convert light at different wavelengths. This improves photon capture and boosts energy efficiency by increasing the cell voltage.
Thanks to the unique characteristics of OPV cells under high temperatures and low light conditions, the measured 12 % efficiency is comparable to about 14 % to 15 % efficiency with conventional solar power technologies such as crystalline or thin film. The efficiency of conventional technologies drops significantly with rising temperature and decreasing light level, but the efficiency of organic cells increases under these conditions. This results in better energy conversion in real life environments.