Estonian Crystalsol, a photovoltaic developer, closed 2,5 million euros first round financing two weeks ago by Conor Venture Partners, Energy Future Invest and public agencies (a link to press release).
Crystalsol’s revolutionary technology, now on prototype level, enables the solar based electricity generation at the cost levels competitive with the conventional energy sources. ” The use of proceeds include for further development of the semiconductor material, upscaling the production as well as module process design” said Jari Mieskonen, Managing Partner at ConorVenture Partners last week.
Crystalsol targets commercialization within the next three years: the technology is applicable for all grid connected solar installations. The next round will follow within the 18 months estimated Jari Mieskonen.
The technology combines the advantages of high efficiency single-crystalline materials and low cost roll-to-roll production. The key innovation is the use of tiny semiconduator crystals made of CZTS (copper zinc tin sulfo-selenice). The use of CZTS eliminates the need for scarce metals like indium and tellurium. Separating the semiconductor powder production from module manufacturing eliminates the scale-up issues faced by competitive thin film solutions.
Crystalsol’s technology leads to cost reduction of 70 – 80 per cent compared to current industry average. This means production cost below 0,5 euros per Watt peak becoming achievable already at low scale production.
Crystalsol was founded in 2009 as a spin-off company of Tallin University of Technology. The patented technology and very strong IPR portfolio is based on decades of research for the Russian military and Philips semiconductor know-how from the 1960s. The company has today operations both in Estonia and Austria: Estonia is focused on semiconductor material and scaling it up while Austrian operations are mostly on module and system integration.