crystalsol

Entirely new type of printed
photovoltaic thin-film modules

Flexible, lightweight, transparent, low-cost

About the technology

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.

Advantages

Compared to established photovoltaic technologies.

  • New type of unsealed photovoltaic film for end product integration
  • Flexible and lightweight polymer encapsulation
  • Versatile applications in building integration and consumer products based on custom made sizes and shapes
  • Abundant, non-toxic raw materials copper, zinc, tin, sulphur and selenium as active layer
  • Low cost because of continuous, high throughput roll-to-roll production process from raw materials to finished products
  • Long-term stability due to single crystalline semiconductor structure

Building integrated photovoltaics

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.

Consumer products

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.

Company

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.

Management

Rumman Syed
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
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 (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
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) – European Regional Development Fund

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)
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)

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)

INiTS

INiTS
The Academic Business Incubator INiTS offers support, advice and funding for academics aiming to found their own company.
INiTS

Klima- und Energiefonds

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

waff
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.
waff

ZIT –Technology Promotion Agency Vienna<

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.

News

  • First samples of new Façade-Integrated PV-modules developed and tested – PV@Fassade project November 2016

    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 taking part in smart(D)ER project September 2016

    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.

  • TPPV and crystalsol jointly organized a PV workshop in Vienna, Austria June 2016

    The workshop was dedicated to “Printable window and contact layer” and it included presentations from respectable specialists from the PV field.

  • crystalsol is participating in the flex!PV 2.0 research project April 2016

    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.

  • European Space Agency granted the tender for the project “Adapting crystalsol product to a moon environment” February 2016

    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.

  • crystalsol OÜ announced as one of the Good Work Environment 2015 award winners October 2015

    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.

  • crystalsol Announces Development of Fully Printed Flexible Photovoltaic Film Using Silver Nanowires from Cambrios July 2015
  • crystalsol presented the new Voc world record on kesterite material June 2015

    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.

  • ESA Industrial Policy Department visited crystalsol May 2015

    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.

  • crystalsol granted new funding project by EAS in Estonia April 2015

    Project „Increasing company revenue by more efficient raw material utilization“ (#EU48851) will last 6 months from April to September 2015

  • Austrian Federal Minister of the Interior visits crystalsol April 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.

  • 3,2 Mio EURO Grant for flexible Photovoltaic from bmvit and Klima- und Energiefonds December 2014
  • Tore Schiotz and Prof. H. W. Schock join crsytalsol Advisory Board April 2014
  • EAS approves grant for crystalsol OÜ for the manufacturing of CZTS power November 2013
  • Rumman Syed joins the management team as the new CEO August 2013
  • crystalsol sets European cell efficiency record for CZTS based photovoltaic cells May 2013

    The new top score cell efficiency of 8.4% has been independently certified by Fraunhofer-Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE).

  • crystalsol closed a Series A round financing of EUR 8 million January 2013

    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.

  • crystalsol reaches 6.74% top score cell efficiency May 2012

    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%.

  • crystalsol awarded grants from FFG and Klima- und Energiefonds January 2012

    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.

  • crystalsol awarded winner of "Wiener Zukunftspreis 2011" October 2011

    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”.

  • crystalsol winner of “ZIT Green Innovation” Award June 2011

    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.

  • crystalsol selected as winner of Saint-Gobain innovation award January 2011

    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 among top 25 of the Eurecan European Venture Contest December 2010

    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.

  • crystalsol national winner of ENERGY GLOBE 2010 June 2010

    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.

  • crystalsol awarded grant from austria wirtschaftsserviceO February 2010

    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

  • crystalsol selected winner of State Prize Environment and Energy Technology 2010 February 2010

    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"

  • crystalsol selected Gewinn Entrepreneur of the Year 2009 November 2009

    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

  • crystalsol OÜ receives seed financing from top VCs August 2009

    crystalsol OÜ successfully closes seed financing round with strong Nordic VC consortium - Conor Venture Partners from Finland and Energy Future Invest from Norway. Download press release in English and Estonian

  • crystalsol awarded grant from Enterprise Estonia June 2009

    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

  • crystalsol gets financial support from Austrian Research Promotion Agency June 2009

    The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) supports crystalsol with EUR 400,000 for developing the core process steps of the photovoltaic module production

  • crystalsol awarded grant from austria wirtschaftsservice April 2009

    austria wirtschaftsservice (aws) awards crystalsol a grant of EUR 100,000 for advanced testing and measurement of semiconductor material and photovoltaic modules

  • crystalsol among finalists of Red Herring Europe 100 March 2009

    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

  • Establishment of crystalsol OG February 2009

    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

  • crystalsol reaches 5.9% conversion efficiency February 2009

    Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) independently certifies a 5.9% conversion efficiency of crystalsol’s CZTS based photovoltaic cells

  • crystalsol receives Feasibility Study grant February 2009

    The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) awards a grant to crystalsol to support the development of its patented module production process

  • crystalsol among winners of first Venture Lounge in Vienna November 2008

    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 becomes part of INiTs incubator August 2008

    crystalsol joins INiTs, an academic business incubator in Vienna and gets vital support to build up its Austrian operations

  • Establishment of crystalsol OÜ June 2008

    crystalsol OÜ is founded as spin off company of the Technical University Tallinn and registered in Tallinn, Estonia

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Careers

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.

If you are interested in working with us, we are pleased to receive your application. Please send us an e-mail including your full application documents to recruiting.at@crystalsol.com for jobs based in Vienna and to recruiting.est@crystalsol.com for jobs based in Tallinn.

Austrian team

Vienna, Austria

Crystalsol GmbH
Am Kanal 27
1110 Vienna, Austria

Estonian team

Tallinn, Estonia

Crystalsol OÜ
Akadeemia tee 15a
12618 Tallinn, Estonia