Dublin-based Nines Photovoltaics has been awarded €1.2 million in funding through a highly competitive European Framework Programme 7 (FP7), to further develop its innovative sustainable solar cell manufacturing technology.
Nines Photovoltaics has developed a potentially highly disruptive methodology for the manufacturing process of photovoltaic (PV) solar cells. This new technology will reduce the cost of production and the overall environmental impact while increasing the speed and degree of process control required for the production of Photovoltaic (PV) solar cells.
“From a cost and environmental perspective the current solar cell production process is unsustainable and limits the ability for Solar PV to compete with traditional energy sources,” explains Edward Duffy, chief executive of Nines Photovoltaics. “In 2010 there were roughly 10 billion solar cells produced worldwide, consuming over 25 billion litres of water and other chemicals. The heavy environmental footprint of solar cell manufacturing is strangling the ability of the PV sector to grow and meet the growing power demand. There is enough solar energy available to power the whole planet 100 times over but we must learn to harvest this energy in a sustainable and cost effective way.”
The technology that Nines has developed enables solar cell producers to dramatically lower their water consumption and enables investment in further scaling of their manufacturing facilities. Nines Photovoltaics is the first company to offer a process solution which uses a fully dry process using only Zero Global Warming Potential chemicals.
The FP7 funding enables Nines to collaborate with a consortium of European partners, Research institutes and SMEs, with specific expertise and domain knowledge to further develop the technology and bring the end product to the global market. Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development (FP7) promotes R&D collaborations amongst European countries. Nines Photovoltaics is leading this project from the front and will collaborate with the Fraunhofer IWS Institute in Dresden, Germany, the Fraunhofer ISE Institute in Freiburg, Germany, Vestlandsforsking in Norway, Alyxan in France, Solartech in Czech Republic, and Zimmermann & Schip Handhabungstechnik GmbH in Germany.
Nines Photovoltaics is currently going through a second round of funding in order to finance further product development and ensure global market penetration.