The polymer solar cell was envisioned many years ago as a low cost flexible PV technology made using fast printing processes, simple machinery and abundant materials. At the turn of the millennium there was a lot of hope that the vision would become reality and this spawned a massive surge in the scientific literature with ever increasing performance and marvels of processability, yet the polymer solar cell remained elusive and the few examples of available OPV have all been far from representing the vision and promises in terms of cost, abundance and fast processing.

I believe that to be true to the art, the polymer solar cell has to be adherent to the vision and especially it must be made available to anyone interested in it. For this reason my group developed the freeOPV modules that are freely available to anybody with a fundamental, academic or scholar interest. The philosophy and spirit is that it should be free without ties and I encourage students, school children, nerds, gizmos, colleagues, companies etc. to make use of this special offer to study, posses, claim, reverse engineer, copy, and use these OPV modules that have been created to propagate OPV and hopefully enable us to reach the objective of supplying the globe with energy from OPV in the future, OPV that are true to the art and original vision of OPV.


The freeOPV modules are (according to my view) far from the mark when it comes to power conversion efficiency but pretty close when it comes to stability, manufacturing speed, cost and abundance of elements. The aim is thus to supply you with the most recent development and the freeOPV module is thus meant to serve as an available benchmark to everybody and anybody irrespective of their origin or interest. freeOPV is what today can be prepared in huge numbers and large area with consistent performance. freeOPV is to me also an experiment of who is interested, what do the interested person do with it, where does it end up, and how efficiently can it be distributed. The cost of a freeOPV module is very low, in fact shipping is significantly higher in cost than the module itself including all handling and preparation for dispatch. It is my sincere hope that you will help me propagate the polymer solar cell and do feel free to share any results, we have to work together on this and learn from it, I have done the majority of my part and hope that you will take my offer an also honor it with feedback, good or bad, remember I am a scientist and to me any results are of interest regardless of their nature.


So go to this link and claim your freeOPV solar cell module.


Frederik C. Krebs

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • Some new solar cell foils based on the same principle are now available

  • Hej drone pilots and DIY fans,

    the flexible organic solar cells demonstrators are now commercially available for all without doing a course or any questions.

    They are available in several efficiencies and in any quantity you want.

  • I placed order for sample when this was first posted, and I received order confirmation shortly thereafter. While the package hasn't arrived yet, I certainly don't think it is late at this point in time. Allowing 6 weeks for delivery, which is a fair time period, then I still have 3 weeks to wait before wondering where my package is.
    Keep in mind that these guys are absorbing the cost of both the cell and the cost to ship it (likely sent as letter via standard mail). Seems logical that they would have lots of universities, schools and individuals wanting samples, and probably manage their orders in batches.
  • oh I see. I never receive a sample yet neither. :-(

  • Mike this is were you can ask for a free sample and email for more info.

  • hej, a quick update from our side to show you how robust such a plastic solar cell module is. 

    You can laser cut it and it still works.

  • I was looking into longer FPV flights using solar energy to charge the batteries inflight. Lightweight solar cells and the solar charger below maybe it might work??
  • Hi,

    I don't think it makes much sense to put them onto a plane.

    For example for my glider I have 1.8m*15cm area I can cover. The radiation is about 500W/m^2. If you have a efficiency of 10% you get 13.5W. If you power your plane with 3S this is only about 1A less battery drain.

  • Hej to all, thanks for the big interest in organic solar cell technology. Best wishes from - the Solar Energy group from DTU Energy Conversion (Technical University of Denmark)

    Looks like DIY drone/plane pilots look for lightweight solar cells ;-)

    As assumed before, yes, our solar cells are fully roll-to-roll printed and coated in ambient conditions with speeds beyond 20 m/min depending on the layer. We don’t use vacuum, sputtering, evaporation, glovebox, or need a cleanroom - „just“ a printing machine for ALL layers and years of experience and research behind.

    You can find some recent data of the large-scale processed solar cells in freely accessible publications:

    And here we built a complete solar park based on organic solar cells. Even with low efficient cells we showed a very low energy payback time of 180 days.

    Satellite view and videos

    We also put our solar cells on a balloon ;-)
    (unfortunately no open access, but you can see a photo)

    Have a look on our YT page and you can see how we print each layer.

    Just follow our twitter/facebook site for frequent updates or browse through

    We will also start soon a free online course on Organic Solar Cells

    P.S. Whenever you read about record efficiencies of organic solar cells beyond 8-10% … they are made under special conditions, have tiny areas and far away from upscaling.

  • @Andrew -- I assume these cells are roll-to-roll printed, so no. If you built a bespoke inkjet system, perhaps, but its still tricky. However, you could just mould these into the wing. Alta solar claims it's possible to use a clear gelcoat as an encapsulate for their cells (not printed), which were compatible with a composite layup process. Also, OPV isn't great for this application, the power output is an order of magnitude lower than GaAs cells. 

This reply was deleted.