Printable, flexible solar cells that could dramatically decrease the cost of renewable energy have been developed by PhD student Brandon MacDonald in collaboration with his colleagues from CSIRO’s Future Manufacturing Flagship and the University of Melbourne’s Bio21 Institute.
Australian researchers have developed solar panels which can be painted or printed directly onto a surface. With help from the CSIRO, University of Melbourne PhD student Brandon MacDonald has produced solar cells so small they can be suspended in liquid, such as ink or paint. MacDonald hopes the new technology will be two to three times cheaper than solar cells currently on the market, Macdonald says he expects the cells to hit the market within 5 years. These solar panels will be made of nano-crystals with a diameter of just a few millionths of a millimetre. MacDonald says they will use just 1 per cent of the materials needed to make traditional solar panels.
“Using nano-crystal inks, they can be manufactured in a continuous manner, which increases throughput and should make the cells much cheaper to produce, we can then apply this ink onto a surface, so this could be glass or plastics or metals” Read the full article »»»»