Scientists Develop Printable Solar Cells

A technique to print solar panels inexpensively on a large scale using a commercial printer with semiconducting ink that converts sunlight into electricity has been developed by scientists from the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium (VICOSC)- a research collaboration between Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), universities and industry partners in Australia. The cells are printed onto paper-thin flexible PET plastic or steel. They are called organic photovoltaics or OPV’s, as they don’t require silicon but they are best suited to diffuse indoor lighting, so complementary to silicon cell PV. Due to the OPVs light weight, flexibility and ability to be printed on transparent substrates, this technology could potentially power portable electronic devices and be embedded into windows and roofing, leading to new building integrated renewable energy design opportunities among other applications. Moving closer to commercialization, scientists are working on improving OPV efficiency. For more information and news