Warsaw firm Saule Technologies has become the world’s first to begin industrial production of revolutionary solar panels based on next generation perovskite technology, which means they can be used practically anywhere.
The 5,000 metre square factory, which was opened by the company in Wrocław on Friday will produce inkjet-printed, ultra-thin, lightweight and flexible solar panels coated with a thin layer of perovskite, a calcium titanium oxide mineral composed of calcium titanate, which can also be synthetically manufactured.
Founder Olga Malinkiewicz said: “We use synthetic perovskites that can achieve considerable efficiency and power and which we don’t have to extract from nature.”
The innovative technology generates energy not only from sunlight but also from artificial light, which means perovskite panels can be used practically anywhere, from pricing labels, facades of buildings, but also to generate electricity from the interiors of buildings and even in space satellites.
The award-winning technology was developed by Founder and CTO of Saule Technologies, physicist Olga Malinkiewicz, whilst she was doing her doctoral studies in 2013 and after the recognition of its global potential and several awards, including from MIT and the European Commission, Saule Technologies was created in 2014.
Having received early stage funding from a multimillionaire Japanese investor Hideo Sawada, the company has grown to a staff comprising 70 people from 15 countries and has become a global leader in the study and development of next generation perovskite technology for solar power.
Speaking at the factory’s opening, Olga Malinkiewicz said: “Six years since the financial help of Japanese investor Hideo Sawada and his company ‘HIS’, we have begun a project, the aim of which was to create a production line of perovskites.
“I’m happy and proud, that the several year phase of research, tests and work, is today entering the realisation phase. I believe that perovskite solar panels will help to change the world for the better. The hope is for cheap green energy for everyone and the energy transformation of every object which requires energy.”
CEO and Co-founder of Saule Technologies, Piotr Krych added: “This is a milestone and a technological breakthrough for many industries.
“Due to its unique properties, perovskite panels can find an application in every place that traditional solar panels have no chance: on the roofs of light-construction buildings, on windows (the panels can be partially transparent), on cars, sails, tents, the exterior of laptops or telephones. They can also power drones and IoT [Internet of Things] devices.”
The opening of the perovskite factory has been hailed as the dawn of a new era by industry leaders Columbus Energy, Poland’s green energy leader and financial investor of Saule Technologies in 2020.
President of Columbus Energy Dawid Zieliński said “Since 1839, when Edmond Bequerel constructed the first photovoltaic panels, there hasn’t been a breakthrough of greater significance than the beginning of production of perovskite panels.
“We can confidently and proudly say, that on the 21st May 2021, a new era in energy has begun – the photovoltaic era 2.0.”