The energy generating world of the future consists of 85 individual transparent solar modules based on organic semiconductor materials. BASF has reported that along with smart electric cars, the urban mobility pioneer, and solar cell manufacturer Konarka, BASF is presenting for the first time a concept that allows polymeric solar cells to be used to add esthetic appeal in architectural applications: a concept suitable for urban energy generation.
The structure marks the entrance to the smart urban stage, a series of exhibitions on “the future of the city” that centers on the smart future minds award.
The prototype structure forms a gate with a clearance of about five meters and a width of nearly four meters to match the futuristic smart urban stage design. BASF has developed a semiconducting polymer, Sepiolid P200®, that absorbs light in the solar gate modules to generate solar electricity. “Organic semiconductors are key materials that have a decisive role to play in making solar modules efficient,” explained Dr. Stephan Klotz, who heads the Printed Electronics business at BASF Future Business GmbH, and added: “These materials must also meet very specific requirements, including processability and durability.” Semiconducting polymers are complex chemical compounds that are created in intricate multi-stage synthesis processes. BASF has been pioneering these processes. “As a result we can offer industrial scale supply of these products to our customers today,” said Klotz.
The advantages of organic semiconductor technology: such solar modules can be manufactured to be ultra-thin, flexible and even semi-transparent. In addition they produce high yields even when the light is diffused and irradiation angles are unfavorable. Thanks to these properties they are perfectly suitable for being integrated in buildings – even for curved surfaces and facades that do not face south, or in tensioned structures.