An innovative German company brings solar energy generation to the heart of the city

Heliatek HQ with active Heliafilm façades
Heliatek HQ with active Heliafilm façades

Rooftop panels or solar farms take a lot of space if they are to generate enough solar energy to power a business. Space is at a premium in most business districts, but companies still want to reduce their carbon footprint. Dresden-based Heliatek has found a way of using the vertical space offered by the façades of buildings to produce electricity.

HeliaFilm is an organic photovoltaic  solar film made by Heliatek. It can be easily integrated into the facades of new or existing commercial and industrial buildings. It transforms them into vast expanses of energy-producing elements.  Even companies based in intensely built-up areas can generate their own clean energy.

“With our HeliaFilm, we are clearly executing our strategy to provide de-carbonized, de-centralized energy generation directly on buildings all over the world” says Thibaud Le Séguillon, Heliatek chief executive.

The company needed to raise additional finance, so that it could boost production capacity of HeliaFilm to commercially viable levels, which included creating 50 high-tech jobs.  The European Investment Bank provided EUR 20 million of quasi-equity under the InnovFin Mid Cap Growth Finance program. 

“It’s a poster case,” EIB investment officer Julie Chevaillier says of the Bank’s involvement with Heliatek.  “It demonstrates the EIB’s commitment to support highly innovative start-ups with the potential to make a significant impact on climate change.”

InnovFin blends EIB resources with funds from the European Commission to provide financial support to innovative European companies.  

 Heliafilm: lightweight, thin, flexible, opaque or transparent, and easily integrated into facades to generate solar power wherever it is needed
Heliafilm: lightweight, thin, flexible, opaque or transparent, and easily integrated into facades to generate solar power wherever it is needed

Heliatek certainly is innovative.

Light, transparent, thin and flexible, HeliaFilm can be sandwiched between layers of glass in office windows or integrated into facades of industrial buildings.  It makes solar energy available right where it’s needed.

The film uses an organic molecule synthesised by Heliatek’s own laboratories.  This means that the production of HeliaFilm does not put additional pressure on resources of the rare earth metals often used in photovoltaic technologies.  By using several layers of the molecule, Heliatek ensures that its film produces energy even during periods of low-level sunlight.

Take a look at the vast facades which dominate your city centre or your nearest industrial zone.  They might soon be helping to save the planet.