Odersun

About: Odersun AG designs and manufactures flexible, silicon free, solar products using a proprietary, worldwide patented, thin-film technology. Its manufacturing process enables the company to produce solar cells that can be assembled into solar modules of virtually any size or any power, in flexible or glass packaging. This adaptability is decisive for applications of building integrated photovoltaics (BiPV). The company is backed by an international group of leading investors including Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures (UK), Virgin Green Fund (US/UK), Advanced Technology & Materials (China), PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund (US), AGF Private Equity (a member of Allianz Group, France) and Valor KG (Austria). Odersun is a private company founded in 2002 and based in Frankfurt.

www.odersun.com

Key Personnel:
Board of Management:
Dr. Hein van der Zeeuw, Chief Executive Officer (appointed on 7 Jan 2009)
Olaf Tober, Chief Technology Officer (President)
Peter van Bommel, Chief Financial Officer (appointed on 22 Apr 2009)

Technology:
Odersun solar cells are produced by creation of a Copper-Indium-disulphide semiconductor on long reels of Copper Tape (CISCuT). Being just 1 cm wide and 0.1 mm thick this copper tape is not only used to form the CIS semiconductor but also acts as the substrate and the carrier material for the solar cell. Using our fast and worldwide patented “reel-to-reel” production process, the 0.001 mm thin active cell layer is created in only 3 stages. The completed reels of solar cells are then cut into strips, slightly overlapped and interconnected using conductive glue to form so-called SuperCells. The length of the individual cell strips determines the current that can be drawn, and the number of cells interconnected in series defines the voltage. Odersun modules are composed of one or multiple SuperCells connected in parallel. They can be individually packaged in either a flexible film laminate or a rigid glass-film laminate. In this way the size, power and design of the modules maybe adjusted to the customer’s specification.

Funding:
Series B, Feb 2008 – €40 million

Virgin Green Fund (US/UK)
PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund (US)
AGF Private Equity (a member of Allianz Group, France)
Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures (UK)
Advanced Technology & Materials (China).
Note: Additional €21 million in grants from the federal state of Brandenburg was given to Odersun to sum up to €61 million ($90 million) of funding to build its second factory SunTwo.

Existing investors are Doughty Hanson and Advanced Technology & Materials.

News: In an earlier blog, The Guardian/Library House CleanTech had named Odersun as the most promising private company in Europe focusing on clean technology in 2008. Odersun makes cheap thin-film solar cells that do not use silicon.

Odersun’s copper-indium selenide (CIS) solar cells can be assembled to fit many surfaces including next-generation Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BiPV) (i.e. building facades, awnings, windows) and consumer products such as bags which can charge your mobile phone or MP3 player. Odersun customized its solar cells to circular shapes when they were installed on the roofs of the buildings in Beijing’s Olympic Park in Aug 2008. Advanced Technology & Materials jointly installed the solar cells with Odersun.

Odersun already has one solar plant, SunOne, opened in April 2007. Odersun invested €8.5 million to build it. The main equity providers were Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures from London and Advanced Technology & Materials from Beijing. The State of Brandenburg provided €3.5 million in financial aid.

As cleantech is more capital intensive than most other technology segments, it is no surprise that Odersun explored outside the VC space to raise funding, acquiring 1/3 of the total €61 million raised through government grants in Feb 2008. Odersun broke ground for its second solar factory, SunTwo in March 2008 which Odersun invested €50 million to build it. SunTwo was expected to start fabrication in 4th quarter of 2008.

Odersun appointed Hein van der Zeeuw as CEO on 7 Jan 2009. He was a former member of the board of management of NXP Semiconductors. Dr van der Zeeuw succeeded Ramin Lavae Mokhtari. On 27 April 2009, Peter van Bommel was appointed as CFO. He was the CFO and member of the board of management of NXP Semiconductors and was the CFO of the Year for non-listed companies in the Netherlands in 2008.

Competitors:
Würth Solar, Sulfurcell (both use CIS technology as Odersun does)

odersun

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