December 4, 2009--Solarmer Energy (El Monte, CA) says its employees are in high spirits after receiving news of their latest National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)-certified plastic solar-panel efficiency of 7.9%. The company is commercializing organic solar photovoltaic technology developed at UCLA, the University of California at Los Angeles (see also "Ionic salts could increase efficiency of dye solar cells" and "Heliatek organic solar cells reach 6% efficiency" and "Improving organic photovoltaics' stability and lifetime is goal of IMEC-Cytec collaboration").
In 2005, founders Woolas Hsieh, Edward Chen, and Jennifer Yu had a dream of creating a company that would provide the world with an affordable way to generate clean energy and would help solve the energy problem. In 2006, plastic solar panel developer Solarmer Energy was born into the emerging organic photovoltaic industry. "This achievement firmly establishes Solarmer's leadership in the OPV industry," says founder and president Woolas Hsieh. "Our efforts in R&D have now put us in a great position to launch a competitive product based on plastic solar panels."
Solarmer is developing transparent, lightweight, flexible, plastic solar panels, which are expected to cost a fraction of what silicon solar panels cost. These solar panels will create new markets that are currently not addressable with conventional silicon solar panel technology. The first major applications for this technology will likely be portable digital electronic devices (such as cell phones and PDAs) and smart fabrics (such as tents and solar bags). Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), in the form of power windows, will soon follow.
As a result of its progress, Solarmer has received several awards from organizations including FlexTech Alliance, Office of Naval Research, and the Department of Energy, in the last 12 months. Breaking two efficiency world records (plastic solar cell and plastic solar module) played a big role in Solarmer winning these awards. They have also worked hard to complete their pilot manufacturing line and have announced that it will be operational next quarter.
Solarmer will showcase its champion solar panels and demos at Printed Electronics USA 2009 Photovoltaics 2009. And Gang Li will be giving a presentation on Solarmer's latest results at the Materials Research Society's Fall Meeting from December 1-3 in Boston, MA.
For more information, go to www.solarmer.com.