Dracula plans Europe’s largest OPV plant with inkjet printing

Dracula plans Europe’s largest OPV plant with inkjet printing

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

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Dracula Technologies is building a fully automated factory for organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices that will be the largest in Europe.

The 2500 m² factory built by Dracula will produce up to 150 million cm² of OPV cells per year, using inkjet printing to simultaneously lower costs and increase customization. The facility will start to supply high-volume IoT customers from early 2024, while also preparing to license its groundbreaking technology.

As the IoT market expands, the need for sustainable power sources is becoming more crucial than ever. Not only are traditional batteries toxic to the environment, but their limited lifetimes also render them useless for industrial-grade IoT applications.

The launch of the new ‘Green MicroPower Factory’ in Valence, France, arrives at a critical juncture, coinciding with European regulation guidelines to phase out non-rechargeable batteries in IoT devices. The enables large scale production of sustainable modules, marking the beginning of the end of conventional batteries.

“This new factory significantly expands our production capacity, ensuring we meet the growing demands of our customers by delivering customized solutions in high volume,” said Brice Cruchon, CEO of Dracula Technologies, which has €5m backing from the French government.

As well as providing customisation, inkjet printing with organic photoactive inks will also reduce unit production costs by a factor of three says the company.

Dracula Technologies has begun recruiting over 60 additional skilled professionals, creating employment opportunities, and fostering economic growth. Looking ahead, Dracula Technologies will have a total of 250 employees by 2030.

Specifically designed for IoT devices, LAYER is the world’s first free-shaped organic photovoltaic (OPV) module produced by inkjet printing that can effectively generate energy from ambient light.

Smart home devices installed with LAYER technology are automatically charged by standard indoor lighting—even in low light conditions (less than 50 lux)—eliminating the need for cables and batteries.. The OPV module can take on any shape, adapt to the smallest formats, and use different types of material to meet the needs of a wide range of applications—including indoor IoT devices, wearables, and any other component that runs on ultra-lower power.


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