Manufacture, integration and demonstration of polymer solar cells in a lamp for the Lighting Africa initiative

Frederik C Krebs, Torben Damgaard Nielsen, Jan Fyenbo, Mads Wadstrøm, Marie S. Pedersen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Semitransparent flexible polymer solar cells were manufactured in a full roll-to-roll process under ambient conditions. After encapsulation a silver based circuit was printed onto the back side of the polymer solar cell module followed by sheeting and application of discrete components and vias. The discrete components were white light LEDs, a blocking diode, a lithium ion battery, vias and button contacts in two adjacent corners. The completed lamp has outside dimensions of 22.5 × 30.5 cm, a weight of 50 g and a very flat outline. The battery and components were the thickest elements and measured <1 mm. A hole with a ring was punched in one corner to enable mechanical fixation or tying. The lamp has two states. In the charging state it has a completely flat outline and will charge the battery when illuminated from either side while the front side illumination is preferable. When used as a lamp two adjacent corners are joined via button contacts whereby the device can stand on a horizontal surface and the circuit is closed such that the battery discharges through the LEDs that illuminate the surface in front of the lamp. Several different lamps were prepared using the same solar cell and circuitry while varying the amount of white LEDs employed and by variation of the number of batteries and the individual battery capacity. The lamp prototype was developed through two early prototypes and the final and serially produced prototype was subjected to field tests in Zambia. Some of the lamps were recovered and the experiences gained with the prototype are presented allowing for further development that takes systemic factors such as the immediate response and spontaneous handling of the lamp by someone with no prior knowledge of the lamp or its workings.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnergy & Environmental Science
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)512-525
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Bibliographical note

    The project was partly financed by the Zealand
    Region, the Gap-funding secretariat at Risø DTU and supported
    by the Danish Strategic Research Council (2104-07-0022), the PV
    ERA-NET transnational POLYMOL project PolyStaR and by
    EUDP (j. nr. 64009-0050).


    • Polymer solar cells
    • Solar energy


    Dive into the research topics of 'Manufacture, integration and demonstration of polymer solar cells in a lamp for the Lighting Africa initiative'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this