Greatcell Solar Limited (GSL) was listed on ASX as Dyesol Limited (DYE) in July 2005 and is headquartered in Queanbeyan, NSW, in Australia. The Company was founded to develop, scale-up and commercialise the rapidly emerging 3rd generation solar photovoltaic (PV) technology known as Dye Solar Cells (DSC), a technology invented by Grätzel and O’Regan at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in the early 1990s. Greatcell Solar is an original licensee of the EPFL core technology in perpetuity and also has an extensive patent portfolio of its own which extends across materials, processes and PV design.
DSC PV technology has lower embodied energy, is cheaper to produce and is more versatile than 1st and 2nd generation PV technology. It is particularly suited to building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), often considered to be the end-point or ‘holy grail’ for PV development. DSC technology encountered technical challenges, though, as scientific investigation and development uncovered further potential for the 3rd generation of PV technology. Some of the materials it used were relatively expensive and the use of a liquid electrolyte raised issues as to its long-term durability. The Sun can be very destructive and long-term durability is a key attribute in successful commercialisation of PV panels.
During that time, very significant projects were commenced for the commercialisation of DSC on both steel (Tata Steel UK) and glass (Pilkington NA) substrates. These projects were subsequently shelved when they suffered from the corporate stresses incurred during the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), and the PV slump between 2011 and 2013. Ironically, large multi-nationals withdrew from technology development to focus on commoditised materials. The intellectual property (IP) created and knowledge acquired during that time from 2005 to 2012 were invaluable in paving the way forward for future Perovskite Solar Cell (PSC) commercialisation, given the focus on BIPV and that roll-to-roll continuous processing for PV manufacture was and remains in its infancy.
In 2013, DSC made an irreversible leap forward with the advent of a solid-state material set. For a short while this was described as solid-state DSC, but has subsequently emerged as PSC because it is based on a generic class of photoactive compounds known as perovskites. In many respects this is an evolution and combines the best elements of both DSC and OPV to provide a genuinely disruptive, new PV technology. The timing is undoubtedly auspicious given the co-ordinated climate and energy policy agreements of Copenhagen (2009) and Paris (2015) driving the renewable energy agenda.
At Queanbeyan, Greatcell Solar has an advanced chemicals manufacturing plant that supplies the global academic and research community with both specialty chemicals and equipment for DSC and PSC research.
Greatcell Solar is creating lower cost renewable electricity that can compete with all forms of energy production, both renewable and conventional. Greatcell Solar’s game-changing solution uses Perovskite Solar Cells to develop an ultra-thin, highly efficient layer of solar energy cells that can be applied to multiple building surfaces such as metal roofs and view and non-view glass – the building envelope.
Using low cost and readily available materials that require less embodied energy to produce, Greatcell Solar 3rd Generation PV panels work in all light conditions including shade, pollution and cloud to generate more useable and constant energy production with a higher and more uniform energy yield.
This adds up to one simple sustainable energy proposition - lower cost electricity available at the point of generation at the lowest possible cost to the customer, for as long as the sun shines. Greatcell Solar is the world leader in the commercialisation of this revolutionary 3rd Generation PV solar technology. Greatcell Solar has first mover advantage, combined with strong intellectual property rights and freedom to operate in a global market that is currently valued at US$73 billion and growing rapidly. Greatcell Solar operates a “capital light” business model with world-class partners and offers a strong pipeline of shareholder value-creating activity as the product and technology gains market traction.
Greatcell Solar is at the forefront of the global development of 3rd Generation Perovskite Solar Cell energy production. Our innovation strategy is leading the way on two principal fronts: (1) Glass substrates – similar to 1st and 2nd generation solar panels and; 2) on the more exciting application of PSC applied to Metal substrates such as industrial and residential roofing.
This strategy reflects our go to market plan to first develop cheaper and equivalent performance panels for standalone utility applications. Secondly, to then provide panels for Building Applied Photovoltaics (BAPV) and finally, to develop Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) where the technology can be directly integrated into the materials of the building envelope.
Greatcell Solar has a formidable Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio as an original licensee of patents invented by École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the global leading institution in 3rd Generation photovoltaics. We have 20 granted or pending patents (cell design and manufacture, materials and equipment), providing significant barriers to market entry to competitors. To date we have invested over $140+ million and 900 plus person years in R&D.
Greatcell Solar has numerous commercialisation and innovation awards including No.5 ranking in 2016 AFR’s Australia’s Most Innovative Companies and a top 25 ranking in the Science Meets Business of Australia’s technology and commercialisation companies. In 2014 we were voted Australia’s Coolest Company.
Greatcell Solar is the global leader in 3rd Generation Perovskite Solar Cell (PSC) technology. With a combination of manufacturing know-how and a world class solar team, Greatcell Solar is best positioned to realise commercialisation of this exciting technology.
As the largest manufacturer of 3rd Generation photoactive materials and equipment in the world, supplying up to 60% of the global PSC market requirements, Greatcell Solar is the acknowledged market leader.
Our global staff hold PhD’s in their field of excellence, maintaining our leading edge in PSC technology. Importantly, the acknowledged world leading expert Professor Michael Grätzel of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) chairs our technology advisory board.
As the leading manufacturer and supplier of research grade perovskites in the world, we are at the hub of all perovskite technology and development. We also have considerable excess capacity in preparation for industrial production. Our collaborative exchange of intellectual property and expertise ensures our team remains at the very cutting edge of development.
Our R&D team’s strength as a partnering resource is recognised and widely sought through many international partnerships including CSIRO, Tata Steel UK, Solliance in The Netherlands, NTU, Singapore and numerous others throughout the world.