Eight19, a maker of energy harvesting solutions powered by flexible organic photovoltaics (OPV), has received a further 1.3 million Pounds of investment. Lucros Investment (Netherlands) joined existing investors IP Group, Clarium and Providence in the round. The new investment follows two years of continued improvement in OPV performance, advances in manufacturing readiness and an increased engagement with customers in the retail, FMCG and IoT sectors.
“We are delighted to have secured the additional funding, which will allow Eight19 to accelerate commercial engagement with customers through the delivery of complete energy autonomous solutions utilizing our flexible OPV”, stated Claudio Marinelli, General Manager and VP Business Development. “The funding will also enable the Company to accelerate the commercialization of a recent technology breakthrough at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University that could enhance the efficiency of conventional silicon solar panels by up to one quarter.”
Nick Stokman, Investment Manager at Lucros Investment, who joins the Board of the Company, said: “Based on our experience in the renewable energy market, we believe that Eight19’s commercialization expertise in thin film manufacturing, coupled with the ground-breaking photophysics innovation from Sir Richard Friend’s group at the Cavendish Laboratory, can deliver a very exciting and disruptive product in the field of photovoltaics renewable energy.”
Robert Trezona, Head of Cleantech at IP Group commented: “We are excited by the progress Eight19 is making with commercialization of their OPV business. Their work with Cambridge University on thin film technology to enhance the performance of conventional silicon solar panels is highly innovative and has huge business potential.”
Eight19’s plastic solar cell modules can be produced from solution under ambient conditions using existing, highly efficient and continuous roll-to-roll printing and coating processes. The result is ultra-thin, flexible solar modules that can readily scale up to very large volume manufacture.
Free of toxic compounds and with much less energy required to make the product (’embedded energy’) compared with conventional approaches, Eight 19 modules are appropriate for deployment in indoor and off-grid applications.
Organic semiconductors originate from abundant, potentially low cost polymer materials. Their absorption spectrum can be tailored to suit artificial light sources as well as sunlight. The resulting devices operate efficiently in bright light as well as at very low light, and are well suited to applications ranging from energy harvesting indoors to off-grid power generation.
Eight19’s scalable production technology for printed plastic solar modules includes the development of solar cell and module architectures and scalable roll-to-roll production methods. Based on technology originally developed by the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, Eight19’s experienced technical team has designed and optimized a versatile roll-to-roll coating plant capable of producing up to 200,000 m2/year of OPV.