Inkjet printed solar panels could revolutionize green energy
Printed solar panels—who'd have thought?
WARSAW, POLAND — AFP reports that a novel processing method has been developed that allows for the production of solar panels at lower temperatures and reduced costs.
In 2009, it was discovered that the perovskite class of minerals could be used to form photovoltaic solar cells. But the initial process was complicated, and could only be done on materials like glass that could withstand the extreme heat required.
Polish physicist Olga Malinkiewicz eventually found a way to coat flexible foil with perovskites, and later developed an inkjet printing method that required no high heat.
The perovskite-coated solar panels are flexible, and can be easily affixed to laptops, cars, drones, spacecrafts, and buildings to allow them to produce electricity, even in the shade or indoors.
According to current estimates, a standard 1.3 square meter panel can supply a day's worth of energy to an office workstation. The projected cost of the panel is $57.
Malinkiewicz claims the initial cost of the inkjet panels will be comparable to conventional ones.
Her company, Saule Technologies, partnered with Swedish construction firm Skanska, which will incorporate the solar cell technology in its projects across the globe.
Experts say perovskite technology could "revolutionise access to solar power for all," as it has "the potential to address the world energy poverty."
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