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Danish lab connects polymer solar plant to grid

electricity_distributionDenmark’s Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy says it’s achieved a global first by connecting a polymer solar cell plant to the grid.

An inexpensive alternative to silicon-based solar cells, polymer solar cells have been developed to the point that they’ve been put to work at a demonstration plant at Risø DTU. The laboratory has now connected those cells to the grid in cooperation with Mekoprint A/S and Gaia Solar A/S.

“The demonstration is an excellent example of how cooperation between research and industry promotes technology development and creates the initial basis for implementing new technology in society,” said Henrik Bindslev, director of Risø DTU.

Mekoprint, which specialises in “roll to roll” production of flex-print and printed electronics, produce the polymer solar cells for the plant. Gaia Solar then helped Risø mount the cells on large solar panels that were integrated with the grid.

When Risø first presented the polymer solar cells at the Roskilde Festival last June, the production cost was €4,500 per watt. The laboratory has since dramatically lowered that price: to €22 per watt in January and to €15 per watt in March. By the end of 2009, it expects to achieve a cost of €4 to €5 per watt.

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