IREC helps Austrian company Sunplugged to implement pioneering solar photovoltaic technology

  • Energy and environment

The Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC) has completed the installation of a new optical system for the industrial inspection of the roll-to-roll manufacturing processes of flexible photovoltaic devices at the Austrian company Sunplugged, an innovative photovoltaic company.

The devices designed by Sunplugged are ‘new generation’ and have a high customizability in shape, aesthetics, electrical output, mechanical flexibility and lightness. These properties allow the technology to offer highly adaptable solutions for easy integration of photovoltaic systems in buildings, vehicles, furniture or farms.

In this way, the energy dependence of medium and small equipment and systems is reduced, the energy transfer and the decentralization of electrical energy production are favored. The aim of the company is, thanks to IREC’s tools, to apply photovoltaic energy in all sectors and reduce the cost of production.

The development and installation of this tool has demonstrated the efficiency of the technology developed by IREC in the optical analysis of materials and devices, both in intermediate stages of production, allowing the correction of the manufacturing processes, and in final stages, facilitating the optimization of the manufacturing of photovoltaic systems.

The Deputy Head of the Solar Energy Materials and Systems Group (SEMS) of IREC, Víctor Izquierdo, has assured that the integration of this tool in Sunplugged is “a key element for the overcoming the challenges of the photovoltaic industry in the implantation of new technologies that facilitate the ubiquitous installation of renewable energy” and that contribute to “a 15% reduction in the energy manufacturing costs and of scarce and high-value materials such as indium, silver or gallium”. According to Izquierdo, “at the same time, the efficiency of the adaptive photovoltaic systems is increased by 25%, which has a direct impact on reducing production costs and the payback of the investment”.

The development of this monitoring tool is part of the Solar-Win project, which has received an almost 2.5 million euros funding from the European Union. The project consortium is comprised by IREC, Acciona and two high-tech companies: Physee, a Dutch company specialized in smart windows, and Sunplugged, a leading Austrian company in the development of customizable photovoltaic devices based on CIGS technology.

Today, we have launched a press release to Spanish media, you can find them in 3 different languages:

This project has received funding from the EU’s H2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 870004.