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Organic Photovoltaics (OPV) 2013-2023: Technologies, Markets, Players

Thin film, printed/vacuum processed, flexible/rigid: costs and rival analysis

"The OPV market is forecasted to rise to $87 million by 2023"
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In this report, we develop technology roadmaps or guidelines, which forecast improvements in module efficiency, lifetime and costs over the next decade. They provide a practical insight into how the technology is likely to evolve. We also assess the merits of OPV technologies for a diverse range of market segments, including automotive, posters and point-of-purchase (PoP) advertisement, apparel, customer electronics, off-grid applications for the developing world, power generation, and building integrated photovoltaics.
The photovoltaic (PV) market remains an extremely volatile sector for suppliers. Currently, crystalline silicon devices control 85% of market, with the remainder being captured by a range of thin film PV devices including CdTe, CIGS, and a-Si. Margins are increasingly tight for on-grid technologies.
Now there is a third-wave of PV technologies entering the market. This wave consists of dye sensitised solar cells (DSSC) and organic photovoltaics (OPV). In this report, we provide a detailed assessment of the technology and markets for OPVs, which are being used where conventional PV cannot go, changing the value-added opportunity.
OPVs bring the following attributes to the market: (a) excellent form factor, (b) good performance under indoor lighting conditions, (c) low capital expenditure, and (d) potentially very low energy production costs using printable plastics. Based on these value propositions, OPVs will not only target existing markets, but will also enable new ones, which existing solutions may not have been able to address.
Not all is well with OPVs, however. The efficiency levels are low, despite the fact that the active semiconductor can be synthesised from many different molecular and polymeric materials. The lifetime is in the order of days if the device is exposed to ambient conditions and existing commercial encapsulants can extend it only to 2-3 years. The constituent materials are still in low-volume production and therefore command high prices.
In this report, we develop technology roadmaps or guidelines, which forecast improvements in module efficiency, lifetime and costs over the next decade. These roadmaps are developed based on extensive interviews with researchers, material suppliers, manufacturers and integrators around the world. They provide a practical insight into how the technology is likely to evolve.
We also assess the merits of OPV technologies for a diverse range of market segments, including automotive, posters and point-of-purchase (PoP) advertisements, apparel (clothes, sportswear, military uniforms, etc), customer electronics (e-readers, mobile phones, watches, toys, etc), off-grid applications for the developing world, power generation, and building integrated photovoltaics. For each application, we interview developers and end-users and perform detailed numerical estimates.
We estimate that the market will rise to $87 million by 2023. The market growth will be predominantly driven by electronics in apparel, posters and PoP smart labels, and off-grid developing world applications. OPVs will nonetheless remain a small player on the greater PV scene, obtaining total market shares <1.5%.
The bankruptcy of Konarka is consistent with our assessment of the technology. Konarka was a leading company in the OPV space and had raised approximately $170 million and acquired an ex Polaroid facility at a reduced price. In spite of these but consistent with our roadmaps, their technology remained an overpriced option with limited lifetime at a time when the entire PV industry was experiencing severe cost pressures and small margins. Companies like Mitsubishi, eight19 and Heliatek, profiled in detail in this report, continue with the development of organic solar cells and are preparing to enter the market place by initially targeting smaller niche markets.
Organic Photovoltaics Market Forecast in US$ *
*For the full forecast data please purchase this report
Source: IDTechEx
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Table of Contents
1.1.A multitude of technologies available
1.2.Roadmaps - efficiency
1.3.Roadmaps - lifetime
1.4.Roadmaps - costs
1.5.Organic Photovoltaics - selling points
1.6.Market Segments
1.7.Market Forecasts
1.8.Commercial Success- Konarka files for bankruptcy
2.1.The Solar Spectrum
2.2.The bandgap
2.3.The 'built-in' potential
2.4.The current-voltage characteristics
3.1.Crystalline Silicon
3.2.Amorphous Silicon
3.3.Cadmium Telluride
3.4.Copper Indium Gallium Selenide
3.5.Dye Sensitised Solar Cells
4.1.Organic Photovoltaics
4.2.1.Ways to improve the efficiency
4.2.2.Our Efficiency Roadmap
4.3.Material Options
4.3.1.Active Channel
4.3.2.Transparent Conductor
4.3.3.ITO Replacement Materials
4.3.4.Concerns over ITO
4.3.5.Not all thin film photovoltaics use ITO
4.4.1.The requirements for a transparent, flexible barrier
4.4.2.Approaches for solving the lifetime problem
4.4.3.Our lifetime improvement roadmap
4.5.3.Transparent Electrode
4.5.4.Hole Transport Layer
4.5.5.Bulk Heterojunction
4.5.7.Our Price Estimate
5.1.Selling Points
5.1.1.Are these selling points unique?
5.1.2.Comparing Different Photovoltaic Technologies
5.2.State of the Photovoltaic Market
5.3.Poster and Point-of-Sale Advertisement
5.4.Electronics in apparel (bags, clothing sportswear, military, emergency etc.)
5.6.Consumer Electronics (laptops, modules, e-readers, watches, etc)
5.7.Building integrated photovoltaics and utility power generation
5.8.Off-Grid and Developing World Applications
5.9.Market Forecast
6.3.Georgia Institute of Technology
6.4.Heliatek GmbH
6.6.Holst Centre
6.7.Imperial College London
6.8.JX Nippon Oil and Gas
6.10.Korea Institute of Science and Technology and Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology
6.11.Mitsubishi Corporation
6.12.National Renewable Energy Lab (USA)
6.16.Technical University of Denmark
6.17.TU ILmenau, Fachgebiet Experimantalphysik I
6.18.University of Erlangen
6.19.University of Manchester
6.20.University of Surrey (UK)
1.1.Technical performance of different PV technologies. Printability and flexibility are assessed on a scale of 1-10; with 10 being the most printable and/or flexible
1.2.Merits of different PV technologies
1.3.Energy generation costs
1.4.Selling points of organic photovoltaics
1.5.Target markets of OPV and assessing the suitability of OPVs for each segment
1.6.Market forecasts 2013-2023 in US$ million
1.7.Forecast for the number of units involved in each application 2013-2023
2.1.Work functions of commonly-used materials
4.1.Efficiency roadmap
4.2.Options for acceptor materials
4.3.Options for donor materials
4.4.Outlining the HOMO and LUMO levels of common organic semiconductors
4.5.Required technical specification
4.6.Performance limits of various flexible substrates
4.7.Roadmap of OPV device lifetimes
4.8.Substrate price points
4.9.PEDOT:PSS prices
4.10.IDTechEx approximate price points for P3HT and PCBM
4.11.IDTechEx estimate cost breakdown by layer
4.12.IDTechEx estimate of equipment and other costs
5.1.OPV selling points are not unique
5.2.Attributes of different PV technologies
5.3.Benefits, efficiency and challenges of different PV technologies
5.4.Leading players' interview highlights
5.5.IDTechEx comments on OPV applications
5.6.Electronics in apparel (bags, clothing sportswear, military, emergency etc.)
5.7.IDTechEx comment on electronics in apparel
5.8.PV in Vehicles
5.9.IDTechEx comment on PV in vehicles
5.10.Consumer Electronics
5.11.IDTechEx comment on mobile devices and other portable/disposable electronics
5.12.Building Integrated Photovoltaics
5.13.IDTechEx comment on Building Integrated Photovoltaics
5.14.Market forecasts 2013-2023 in US$ million
5.15.Forecast for the number of units involved in each application 2013-2023
1.1.A radar chart comparing attributes of different PV technologies
1.2.Efficiency improvement roadmap. Y-axis is in %
1.3.Predicted lifetime increases as a function of year
1.4.Price evolution for different grades of barrier layers
1.5.Market forecasts 2013-2023 in US$ million
1.6.Forecast for the number of units involved in each application 2013-2023
1.7.Estimated amount of wattage produced by unit/item in each market sector
2.1.Solar radiation spectrum reaching the earth's surface
2.2.Solar irradiation constitutes an abundant source of energy
2.3.Metals and semiconductor bandgap
2.4.Absorption characteristics of different semiconductors for use in PV
2.5.Schematic illustration a p-n junction, space-charge region and built-in potential (or electric field)
2.6.Typical IV characteristics of PV devices under illumination along with associated energy band diagrams
2.7.Typical energy band diagram depicting energy level alignments across interfaces
2.8.Fill factor corresponds to the large square that can be fitted into the IV characteristics (in coordinate region where I<0 and V>0)
3.1.Crystalline silicon cell designs
3.2.Example of a-Si PV
3.3.Example of flexible a-Si PV
3.4.Existing consensus suggests that light exposure increases the density of dangling bonds
3.5.A typical multi-junction cell architecture
3.6.A typical tandem cell architecture
3.7.The temperature ramp ups and downs during the manufacturing process of CdTe PV
3.8.Applications of CIGS technology
3.9.CIGS PV devices are often fabricated using a high temperature process
3.10.Heliovolt temperature reduction process
3.11.Uses of DSSC
3.12.Light is absorbed by the dye, creating an electron-hole pairs
3.13.DSSC outperform a-Si cells under low light and/or high angle lights (e.g., indoor conditions)
3.14.The efficiency of DSSC devices increases with increasing temperature. This is contrary to other PV technologies
3.15.DSSC cells can be printed and be fully flexible.
3.16.The efficiency of DSSC cells
4.1.Illustrations of organic photovoltaics
4.2.The OPV process
4.3.Schematic depiction of the photoinduced electron (e) -hole (h) generation and separation
4.4.Donor and acceptors are mixed in the active channel, increase interfacial area
4.5.Creations of 'islands' should be avoided because they trap photogenerated charges
4.6.Typical absorption characteristic of OPVs
4.7.Efficiency improvement roadmap
4.8.Comparing different approaches for making transparent electrodes (ITO replacements)
4.9.Global indium production in 2010
4.10.Indium price and production volumes as a function of year
4.11.Repeated and/or tight bending degrades properties of ITO
4.12.OPV rapidly degrade
4.13.Water vapour permeability in packaging
4.14.Barrier performance schematic
4.15.The barrier requirements of different technologies
4.16.Extending device lifetime
4.17.Dyad technique
4.18.Another approach to forming flexible barriers
4.19.Conventional multilayer concept vs TBF design and concept
4.20.Corning flexible glass
4.21.IDTechEx roadmap for improvement in lifetime of encapsulants.
4.22.IDTechEx roadmap for price evolution in barrier technology.
5.1.Selling points of OPVs
5.2.A radar chart comparing attributes of different PV technologies
5.3.Photovoltaics can be deployed in a range of different environments
5.4.The biggest driver in demand has traditionally been Europe
5.5.Total PV market forecast in installed capacity
5.6.PV's 'Moore's Law' equivalent
5.7.Price evolution of PV technologies
5.8.Examples of OPVs integrated directly into packaging/advertisement products
5.9.OPV-enabled solar bag.
5.10.Harvested power versus illumination conditions
5.11.Kerosene lamp and solar lanterns
5.12.Market forecasts 2013-2023 in US$ million
5.13.Forecast for the number of units involved in each application 2013-2023
5.14.Estimated amount of wattage produced by unit/item in each market sector

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Printed, Organic & Flexible Electronics Forecasts, Players & Opportunities 2015-2025
Market data; market and technology appraisal; case studies: the complete picture for printed, flexible and organic electronics


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