OCI is a company that develops, manufactures and markets high efficiency, low-cost solar cells, modules and assemblies for use in all types of wearable solar products, as well as portable, standalone photovoltaic power systems. The company was founded in Germany in 2010 and is now based in Switzerland.
The company’s mission is to provide sustainable and affordable energy for everyone. As the world’s largest producer of solar-related products, OCI helps meet this goal by distributing its products throughout the world.
OCI was started by a German couple looking to change the world for the better. In 2010, the couple, along with several other investors, acquired the company AMS, which specialized in making solar cells and modules. In 2012, the company changed its name to OCI to represent its new focus on the solar market. Later that year, it acquired a production line in the UK, which increased its production capacity by 10%.
In 2013, the company opened offices in the US and China, and, in the same year, raised $80 million in a Series A round of funding. In November of that year, it opened a R&D center in the UK and expanded its head office from two to six floors. In February 2014, OCI secured a deal with China’s National Development & Reform Commission to purchase 300 million Yuan (about $48.3 million) in solar-related equipment over the next three years.
In 2015, the company started construction on a new manufacturing plant in Suzhou, China, which will be able to produce 500,000 solar modules per year. In the same year, OCI secured a $30 million cash infusion from its existing investors and began trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Finally, in April 2016, the company opened a new office in Tokyo, Japan.
OCI creates high-efficiency solar cells and modules using standard silicon wafers. The company’s products range from small solar street lights and large-scale ground-mounted installations to wearable products like watches, bracelets and neckties. Additionally, OCI develops ultra-affordable and flexible photovoltaic products made from plastic, wood, metal and canvas for use in developing countries.
OCI’s target market is countries that do not have electricity infrastructure, such as developing nations and remote areas in the world. These countries can benefit from low-cost solar power, which allows for the introduction of energy goods that were previously out of reach. For example, OCI’s ultra-affordable FlexiCell PV product, designed for use in places like Bangladesh, makes it possible to provide light for homes and small businesses without the need for expensive and complex systems.
With each product line, OCI takes the environmental impact of its products into consideration. All of its cells and modules are manufactured using energy-saving techniques and sustainable materials.
For example, its high-efficiency crystalline silicon modules are manufactured using less energy and fewer natural resources than other competing products. Similarly, the company reduces its dependence on fossil fuels by using only renewable energies for the production of its FlexiCells.
To ensure a better quality of life, reduce energy costs and combat climate change, OCI strives to be more sustainable and environmentally-conscious. Through its various product lines, the company manufactures energy-saving devices that it hopes to see adopted en masse in the near future.
Additionally, by implementing energy-saving measures and seeking out eco-friendly materials, OCI reduces its environmental impact. Finally, the company encourages its customers to adopt sustainable energy practices and reduce their energy consumption through its various outreach programs.
Along with the rise of the sharing economy, more and more people are looking for ways to reduce their personal consumption and be more flexible with their spending habits. Inspired by the flexible, wearable items that he saw as a kid, Frank Farkas set out to create a product that could change the way we buy energy goods. After much trial and error, the result is the FlexiCell. By using liquid crystals and some clever design, OCI was able to pack a lot of technological know-how into a product that is both flexible and efficient. Although the product was inspired by kids’ pajamas, the FlexiCell is built to last through many washes and wears comfortably throughout the day. Finally, the fact that it can be worn several ways makes it ideal for flexible energy consumers who want to be able to put it on whenever they need energy (like when showering or going to the bathroom).
How Does It Work?
The basic idea behind the FlexiCell is to create a solar cell that people can wear for extended periods of time. To do this, OCI built on its extensive experience in creating and manufacturing solar cells. It started by using standard silicon wafers like those found in most smartphones, then sliced them into thin strips, forming what are known as ‘binge’ wafers. This made the whole process of creating the FlexiCell much more efficient. Binge wafers are much easier to work with than the whole wafers and can be used in larger scales. Additionally, the company uses a patented gel material that is both soft and moldable as an encapsulating layer. This patented gel material allows for the creation of lighter, more flexible solar cells. Furthermore, the material is highly transparent allowing for maximum light exposure, greatly improving the cells’ efficiency. Finally, the FlexiCell is designed with a flexible plastic casing making it much more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. When the material is flexed, it maintains its structural integrity allowing for full functionality even though it is greatly reduced in weight. When the material is relaxed, it returns to its original form increasing the product’s structural integrity. This effectively allows the FlexiCell to be flexible enough to be worn comfortably yet strong enough to power up a small device or light bulb.
As the world transitions to a more sustainable energy future, products like the FlexiCell will play an integral role in making sure that everyone is taking the necessary steps to reduce their ecological impact. The product is both flexible and efficient, and has the potential to reach a large audience. When purchasing a FlexiCell, one of the first things that an environmentalist might say is “buyer beware,” as there are numerous hidden costs that one might not want to assume. For example, the product is not manufactured in an energy-saving plant, but somewhere far away in China, which puts it among the many affected by China’s infamous air pollution.
With much of the world’s population lacking access to electricity, the need for renewable energy sources will continue to grow. As with most new technologies, there is the potential for abuse in areas where power is heavily concentrated, such as large metropolitan areas. This is why it is important to work closely with governments and regulators to ensure that the benefits of this new technology outweigh the potential risks.