Flexible, lightweight, transparent, low-cost
crystalsol develops an entirely new type of flexible photovoltaic technology. The patented technology combines the advantages of high efficiency single-crystalline materials and low cost roll-to-roll production.
The technology is based on decades of research for the Russian military and Philips semiconductor know-how from the 1960s. The core innovation is the light absorbing layer made of a patented new crystalline semiconductor powder.
The light absorbing active layer of the film is made of crystalline semiconductor particles with a typical diameter of 40 μm arranged as a single layer fixed by a polymer film.
The semiconductor particles contain the abundant and low-cost elements copper, zinc, tin, sulphur, and selenium (CZTS). Every semiconductor particle is coated with an extremely thin buffer layer to create the p/n junction. Before the crystalline powder enters the module production it is already a finished working solar cell. The module production process is based on roll-to-roll technology ensuring high throughput and yield similar to the printing industry.
Consequently the required investment in crystalsol’s manufacturing equipment is significantly below current capital requirements for photovoltaic plants. Main reason is the elimination of vacuum technology for the active layer and the low process temperatures.
Due to the characteristics of crystalsol’s technology upscaling issues – common for thin film technologies – are minimized. As every semiconductor particle is a tiny photovoltaic cell it does not make a difference how large the finished film is. This is an advantage compared to all thin film technologies where all upscaling to larger areas requires costly and time consuming development.
Compared to established photovoltaic technologies.
The initial focus of crystalsol’s products will be on building integration. The films can either be opaque or transparent for integration into windows, facades and rooftops. They can be laminated with polymer foil for integration in structured facades or encapsulated in glass for higher stability. Due to the simple production process, the films can be tailor made in shape and size.
Besides integration into the building envelope, crystalsol’s products can be integrated into consumer products like mobile chargers, bags, clothing and the like. Due to their flexibility, they can be tailor made to the needs of the consumer product and consequentially, consumer products do not need to adapt to the PV modules available on the market anymore.
crystalsol develops an entirely new type of flexible photovoltaic film with a significant cost and versatility advantage compared to all currently known photovoltaic technologies. The technology is based on decades of research for the Russian military and Philips semiconductor know-how from the 1960s. The core innovations are the crystalline semiconductor powder made from a patented new material and the low-cost roll-to-roll production process.
crystalsol’s technology leads to cost reduction of 30-50% compared to current industry average. This means production cost below 0.3 EUR per Watt peak achievable in the medium term. At this cost level the generated electricity is cost competitive with conventional energy sources.
is the Chief Executive Officer and is responsible for operations and finance. He holds a masters degree in Information Systems engineering from the University of Durham, UK but has spent over ten years in the high-tech industry holding various executive positions.
Prof. Dr. Dieter Meissner
is the Chief Scientist and guides the R&D process and university co-operations, most importantly with the Tallinn University of Technology. He started to work with monograin membranes in 1979 with the Philips Research Group which Prof. Meissner took over in the early 90s.
Tore Schiøtz, Managing Partner of Contango Capital, was on the Administrative Board of Renewable Energy Corporation for several years. The Norwegian company is renowned as a leading force in the global solar power industry and specialises in the manufacture of multicrystalline wafers, solar cells and solar modules. Until recently, the Norwegian-born investment specialist was also Vice President of energy producer Hafslund ASA, where he successfully brought his many years of experience to bear in the area of renewable energies, in particular photovoltaic solar energy.
Jari Mieskonen has been in the venture capital industry for some 20 years. He joined Conor Venture Partners as managing partner 2007. Conor is managing two early stage tech funds. Prior to that he was a partner at Eqvitec Partners for ten years and served as investment director at Sitra for four years. He has personally being engaged to over 40 deals internationally. He is currently a board member in four target companies and serves as board member in FVCA and Nordic Venture Network.
Prof. Hans-Werner Schock is considered one of the world's foremost experts in the area of thin-film solar cells. In 2010 he was awarded the EU Commission's prestigious Becquerel Prize, one of the highest honours awarded in the global field of photovoltaic solar energy. He received the prize at the time in acknowledgement of his achievements in the area of solar energy technology and thin-film solar cells, which also includes, in particular, the solar cells developed under his leadership by the Polycrystalline Thin-Film Solar Cells research group at the Institute for Physical Electronics, University of Stuttgart. These solar cells broke several records for efficiency.
Wolfgang Ressler was responsible for finance, marketing & sales at crystalsol till summer 2013. His academic background is in electrical engineering and business administration. While at university he founded a sports event company. Prior to founding crystalsol he was Junior Engagement Manager with McKinsey & Company, Inc. where he advised top-tier companies of the Hi-Tech, Telecommunication, Automotive and Water Industry.
ARAX Capital Partners
ARAX Capital Partners bring together investors and innovative and growing start-up companies within the sector of technology. ARAX offers a broad range of services from strategy advisory for entrepreneurs to a variety of investment programs.
ARAX Capital Partners
austrian wirtschaftsservice (aws)
Austrian wirtschaftsservice is Austria’s national promotional bank. aws offers a broad range of company-specific investment programs and services including financial assistance and consultancy for companies ranging from the pre-seed to the international expansion stage.
austrian wirtschaftsservice (aws)
Conor Venture Partners Oy
Conor Venture Partners Oy is a leading early-stage technology VC investing in Finland, Sweden and the Baltics. Conor invests in disruptive technologies in ICT, embedded systems, electronics, new materials and optics. The main interest is in teams who are capable for global success. The fund is privately owned and supported by local institutional investors.
Conor Venture Partners Oy
Enterprise Estonia (EAS) promotes business and regional development in Estonia.
Enterprise Estonia is a national support system for entrepreneurship, providing financial assistance, advisory, cooperation opportunities and training for entrepreneurs, research establishments and the public sector.
crystalsol has been granted two Applied Research grants financed by the European Regional Development Fund and one national grant for the development of manufacturing companies. The first project “Development of a cost-efficient solar panel” (#EU29713) lasted from December 2008 to September 2011. The second project “Increasing the efficiency of CZTS semiconductor material” (#EU42222) started in January 2012 to September 2013. The overall goal was to improve the properties of the semiconductor material which is key to converting sunlight into electricity. The 3rd project “Increasing productivity of CZTS semiconductor manufacturing“ (#EU46532) was approved in November 2013 for the project duration between October 2013 and March 2015. From 1st of April to 30th of September 2015, the 4th EAS Project ("Increasing company revenue by more efficient raw material utilization“ (#EU48851)) was the focus of R&D efforts of crytalsol in Estonia.
Enterprise Estonia (EAS)
European Regional Development Fund
Energy Future Invest AS (EFI)
Energy Future Invest AS (EFI) is a Norwegian venture capital company dedicated to the Cleantech sector and with main focus on Clean Energy and energy efficiency. EFI invests in growth companies in the Nordic region and the fund is managed by the advisory company Contango Kapital. The two owners behind EFI are Eidsiva Energi and Hafslund.
Energy Future Invest AS (EFI)
Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)
The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) is the national funding institution for applied industrial research in Austria. FFG offers a comprehensive range of services for Austrian enterprises, research institutions and researchers.
Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)
The Academic Business Incubator INiTS offers support, advice and funding for academics aiming to found their own company.
Klima- und Energiefonds
Klima- und Energiefonds act as innovator and impulse generator for climate relevant and sustainable energy technologies. Main goal is supporting ideas, concepts and projects in the areas research and development, mobility, market penetration and creation of awareness.
Klima- und Energiefonds
waff assists Viennese employees with anything related to career and training. In the course of its initiative "Innovation Assistance" it supports small and medium enterprises with innovative projects and sponsors personnel costs of the innovation assistants, further training and consulting costs.
ZIT –Technology Promotion Agency Vienna
ZIT is the technology promotion agency of the City of Vienna, responsible for creating an attractive environment for technology-oriented companies based in Vienna. ZIT offers a broad range of technology promotions and funding schemes to support the development and growth of companies in different stages and industries.
ZIT –Technology Promotion Agency Vienna
The technology is based on decades of research for the Russian military and Philips semiconductor know how. In the 1960s Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven patented early versions of the technology and used the semiconductor powder approach for the production of light sensitive switches. From this time on Prof. Dieter Meissner was driving the research on the photovoltaic application of crystalsol's technology. Behind the Iron Curtain the Estonian research group of Prof. Mellikov was independently working on the semiconductor powder approach for about 20 years in projects for the Russian military. Joint research of Prof. Enn Mellikov’s and Prof. Dieter Meissner’s groups during the 1990s focused on semiconductor powder made of copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS). The rising costs of indium led to the search for alternatives. A breakthrough at the Technical University of Tallinn (TUT) allowed the replacement of indium through zinc and tin. Since then crystalsol and its team of scientists are advancing this innovative technology.
crystalsol operates at two locations. Research and development of the semiconductor powder takes place in Tallinn, Estonia. Development of the device and the production process is based in Vienna, Austria.
In 2014, crystalsol signed a funding contract with The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG). First samples of new façade-integrated PV have now been tested for more than a year. The central target of the research project PV@Fassade is to cope with the specific challenges related to façade-integrated photovoltaics, and to create a knowledge and technology base for a competitive façade-integration of photovoltaics within an inter-disciplinary research project. Specifically, a close co-operation of several Austrian R&D institutions and companies from façade-building and PV is striving for solutions to implement a reliable, cost-efficient and aesthetically attractive façade-integrated PV. Another focus of the project is to disseminate and exploit research results to ensure that Austria’s economy will play a central role in façade-integrated PV in the medium term. The acceptance of the BIPV concepts will be inquired and evaluated in interaction with architects, planners and students in expert workshops and user inquiries which will be iteratively integrated into the optimization process. Project duration: 01.04.2014-31.03.2017.
Dieses Projekt wird aus Mitteln des Klima- und Energiefonds gefördert und im Rahmen Programmes Energy Mission Austria (Ausschreibung: e!mission 2013 4. Ausschreibung) durchgeführt.
crystalsol is participating in a large-scale project, sponsored by the Klima und Energie Fond, consisting of around 60 workshop days. The aim of this initiative is spreading and consolidating the knowledge of renewable energies, especially in the field of building-integrated PV, as well as enhancing the co-operation in research. Project duration: 01.09.2016-31.08.2020.
Dieses Projekt wird aus Mitteln des Klima- und Energiefonds gefördert und im Rahmen des Programmes Forschnungskompetenzen f. die Wirtschaft (Ausschreibung: Inno-LV 2015 Ausschreibung) durchgeführt.
The workshop was dedicated to “Printable window and contact layer” and it included presentations from respectable specialists from the PV field.
The main focus of both the R&D and the industry is a further development of existing processes and materials from the laboratory towards an industrial mass production. In addition, research has to be constantly adapted to the new materials and technologies, which provide impetus and create new market opportunities in the PV sector. flex!PV 2.0 strives to strengthen the permanence of Austria as a technology location by bundling up the know-how in the fields of material development, coating technologies, device structure and module design. Focusing on high-throughput, solution-based routes will be scaled up from cell level production to sheet-to-sheet or roll-to-roll module processing. The scaling-up strategies will address the issues of efficiency decrease in modules, caused by factors such as layer thickness inhomogeneity and module interconnection losses. For these issues the consortium will build upon concepts and know-how acquired in the framework of the previous flex!pv.at project. The project will also focus on the materials, cell and module stability, which is a critical issue especially for the hybrid perovskite absorbers, still preventing their commercialization. A wide range of characterization techniques and various testing conditions of light, humidity and temperature will be employed, in an attempt to unveil the intrinsic limitations and potential of these promising absorber technologies. Project duration: 01.04.2016-31.03.2019.
Dieses Projekt wird aus Mitteln des Klima- und Energiefonds gefördert und im Rahmen des Programmes Energieforschung (e!mission) (Ausschreibung Energieforschung 2. Ausschreibung) durchgeführt.
The objective of the study is to evaluate the possibility to use some down selected polymers as membrane material using the lamination process developed by crystalsol. The long term stability under some of the conditions encountered at the Moon South pole will be assessed. The study aims solely at making a first assessment of the applicability of the technology for the intended application and does not intent mimicking the exact conditions encountered on the moon. Hence the extent of conditions and test duration will be limited to vacuum, thermal amplitude and shall also include part of the radiation spectrum encountered. Project duration: February-May 2016.
The Labour Inspectorate of Estonia awarded two companies with the title of Good Work Environment 2015 and crystalsol oü is one of the winners. The title is given to companies who make a safe working environment and staff health a priority. It recognizes the work that has been done to encourage companies and other businesses to assess, observe and promote health and safety at work.
The recently certified world record of open circuit voltage on kesterite material, Voc = 781 mV produced by crystalsol, was presented at the 42nd IEEE PVSC conference in New Orleans, USA during the talk „Improvement of Voc in Cu2ZnSnS4 Monograin Layer Solar Cells with Tin Oxide Inter-Layer“. Another high Voc value, 758 mV was presented later at the same conference by Solar Frontier, leaving crystalsol with the Voc record on kesterites.
A delegation led by Mr Eros Pittarelli from the European Space Agency Industrial Policy Department together with representatives of Airbus D&S and Thales visited more than 20 institutions from the Estonian space industry and academia during their one week stay in Estonia. All target organization gave a tour of their premises and a thorough overview of their ongoing and near future space related products and cooperation projects.
Project „Increasing company revenue by more efficient raw material utilization“ (#EU48851) will last 6 months from April to September 2015
On April 9th, the Austrian Federal Minister of Interior, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, visited crystalsol. The Minister and Ministerial Council Andreas Achatz did a tour of the modern crystalsol lab, where the company is currently working on upscaling the module production. The guests were impressed by the innovative and high-tech work environment, which of interest to state politics.
The new top score cell efficiency of 8.4% has been independently certified by Fraunhofer-Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE).
crystalsol has closed a Series A round financing of EUR 8 million led by Conor Venture Partners. While maintaining existing investors, crystalsol received capital from Arax Capital Partners, an Austrian investor with focus on innovative and growth-oriented Austrian high-tech companies.
Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) independently certifies a 6.74% top score cell efficiency of crystalsol’s CZTS based photovoltaic cells in May 2012. This represents an improvement of 10% compared to the previous record of 6.04%.
The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) supported crystalsol with a grant of EUR 170,000 for the development of revolutionary, cost efficient bitumen rooftop membrane with integrated photovoltaic modules. Soprema, a French company is partnering with crystalsol in this project. Klima- und Energiefonds awarded crystalsol in the course of the 5th tender of the program „New Energies 2020“ with a grant of EUR 440,000 for the development of cost effective printed contacts for photovoltaic modules in the roll-to-roll production process. crystalsol’s project partner is Forster Verkehrs- und Werbetechnik GmbH, a company with extensive know-how in printing processes.
News, an Austrian weekly magazine, and the City of Vienna selected innovative Companies of the Future (Wiener Zukunftspreis). Within three categories over 100 projects were reviewed. crystalsol was selected as winner of the category “Innovative Companies”.
An international jury selected crystalsol as winner and awarded a grant for process development. crystalsol will use the funds to scale the grinding process for roll-to-roll production of photovoltaic modules. The ZIT Green Innovation award targeted projects with efficient and sustainable use of natural resources.
Saint-Gobain, world leader in habitat, has just completed the third global innovation competition and awarded start-up companies offering the most innovative solutions in the fields of habitat, energy and the environment. The jury singled out crystalsol as one of the three winners. Going forward Saint-Gobain will support crystalsol in commercializing its patented CZTS technology.
crystalsol was among the finalists of the 2010 EEVC in Barcelona. The finalists were selected from a total of 987 applications from 24 countries. The contest is the largest venture contest organized in Europe and receives big attention from venture capital companies.
The Energy Globe Country Awards supports projects that conserve and protect our resources or that employ renewable energy. crystalsol is the selected winner of the national award in Estonia.
austria wirtschaftsservice (aws) supports crystalsol with Seedfinancing of EUR 1 milion for advancing its cell technology and ramping up pilot production for photovoltaic modules at small scale
The State Prize for Environment and Energy Technologies awards Austrians most successful companies in the field environment and energy technologies. Due to high innovative character and huge market potential crystalsol was selected number one in the category "Research and Innovation"
Out of more than 1000 Austrian startup companies crystalsol was ranked as overall number one by a high profile jury in "Gewinn" magazine´s annual competition. In addition to the main category the Austrian Ministry of Economy also named crystalsol the winner in the High Tech category
Enterprise Estonia (EAS) awards crystalsol a grant of EUR 1.5 million for applied research on the improvement of crystalsol’s semiconductor material. The project is scheduled until the end of 2010
The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) supports crystalsol with EUR 400,000 for developing the core process steps of the photovoltaic module production
austria wirtschaftsservice (aws) awards crystalsol a grant of EUR 100,000 for advanced testing and measurement of semiconductor material and photovoltaic modules
crystalsol is named a WINNER of the Red Herring 100 Europe, an award given to the top 100 most promising technology companies based in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region each year
crystalsol OG is founded by Dieter Meissner, Thomas Badegruber and Wolfgang Ressler with the focus to develop a low-cost photovoltaic module including the required production process
Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) independently certifies a 5.9% conversion efficiency of crystalsol’s CZTS based photovoltaic cells
The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) awards a grant to crystalsol to support the development of its patented module production process
Out of 35 preselected start-up companies crystalsol wins third place in Vienna’s first Venture Lounge organized by venture capital companies Neuhaus Partners and Global Equity Partners and the PR-network European Marketing Communications
crystalsol joins INiTs, an academic business incubator in Vienna and gets vital support to build up its Austrian operations
crystalsol OÜ is founded as spin off company of the Technical University Tallinn and registered in Tallinn, Estonia
We believe that our people are the cornerstone for our success. As a small-cap photovoltaic company without a rigid bureaucracy or hierarchy, we offer a challenging, entrepreneurial environment based on meritocratic principles. We are looking for exceptional, highly motivated individuals who share our desire to make crystalsol‘s vision a success. Besides attractive performance-based compensation, you can expect a high degree of autonomy, flexibility, and responsibility from day one and to play a key role in a team of outstanding individuals. We offer the chance to shape a fast growing start-up company in one of the currently most dynamic industries.
Am Kanal 27
1110 Vienna, Austria
Akadeemia tee 15a
12618 Tallinn, Estonia