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.

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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
Simmeringer Hauptstrasse 24
1110 Wien, Austria

Estonian team

Tallinn, Estonia

crystalsol OÜ
Akadeemia tee 15a
12618 Tallinn, Estonia