Adding to the growing number of solar manufacturing facilities in the UK, organic solar cell developer Eight19 has commissioned a new development and roll-to-roll printing facility at its Cambridge headquarters. The new line is expected to optimise the processes necessary for high-volume organic solar cell production.

Thought to be the largest of its kind in Europe, the bespoke facility includes a multi-station roll-to-roll fabrication machine which is designed to manufacture solar modules at a fast pace. Eight19 expects to have the first of its commercial printed plastic solar modules available in 2013.

Professor Sir Richard Friend, one of the founders of Eight19 said: “Organic solar cell technology is the one of the fastest improving approaches to solar power with peak reported efficiency more than doubling in the last three years. The new facility enables Eight19 to bring this research to practise and develop commercially viable manufacturing for worldwide application.”

Simon Bransfield-Garth, Chief Executive Officer of Eight19 said: “In the space of little more than 12 months, Eight19 has moved from a university spin-out to a leading developer of organic solar cell technology. The new high speed roll-to-roll facility underpins the company’s strategy to create solar modules that can be manufactured economically for a wide range of energy generation applications. We are sure that the new manufacturing technique will open up new markets across the world.”

Eight19 was founded in 2010 to commercialise the printed organic solar cell technology that was originally developed at Cambridge University’s Cavendish Laboratory.