Archive for December 6th, 2013

A Material That Could Make Solar Power “Dirt Cheap”
Researchers discover that a material known for a hundred years could lower the cost of solar power.

Researchers developing the technology say that it could lead to solar panels that cost just 10 to 20 cents per watt. Solar panels now typically cost about 75 cents a watt, and the U.S. Department of Energy says 50 cents per watt will allow solar power to compete with fossil fuel.

print me a solar cell
New MIT-developed materials make it possible to produce photovoltaic cells on paper or fabric, nearly as simply as printing a document.

Almost as cheaply and easily as printing a photo on your inkjet, an inexpensive, simple solar cell has been created on that flimsy sheet, formed from special “inks” deposited on the paper. You can even fold it up to slip into a pocket, then unfold it and watch it generating electricity again in the sunlight.

Public Lecture—Printing Solar Cells for Greener Energy – McGehee Group

Stanford University

The printer has allowed researchers from the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium (VICOSC) – a collaboration between CSIRO, The University of Melbourne, Monash University and industry partners – to print organic photovoltaic cells the size of an A3 sheet of paper.
According to CSIRO materials scientist Dr Scott Watkins, printing cells on such a large scale opens up a huge range of possibilities for pilot applications.
“There are so many things we can do with cells this size,” he says. “We can set them into advertising signage, powering lights and other interactive elements. We can even embed them into laptop cases to provide backup power for the machine inside.”
The new printer, worth A$200,000, is a big step up for the VICOSC team. In just three years they have gone from making cells the size of a fingernail to cells 10cm square. Now with the new printer they have jumped to cells that are 30cm wide.

CTRL+P: Printing Australia’s largest solar cells

Scientists have produced the largest flexible, plastic solar cells in Australia – 10 times the size of what they were previously able to – thanks to a new solar cell printer that has been installed at CSIRO

Further information on the VICOSC consortium
University of Melbourne
Dr David Jones ||+61 3 8344 2371
Professor Andrew Holmes | + 61 3 8344 2344

Dr Scott Watkins | | +61 3 9545 2618 | 0401 764 124
Dr Gerry Wilson | | +61 3 9545 2205 | @FlexElectronixx

Monash University
Professor Yi-Beng Cheng | | +61 3 9905 4930