The printer system was developed by VICOSC, the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium—a collaboration between the University of Melbourne, CSIRO Molecular and Health Technologies, and Monash University—and utilizes only existing printer technology to embed polymer solar cells (also known as organic or plastic solar cells) in thin sheets of plastic or steel at a rate of ten meters per minute. "We're using the same techniques that you would use if you were screen printing an image on to a T-Shirt," project coordinator and University of Melbourne researcher Dr David Jones said in a press release. Organic solar cells rely on organic electronics, hydrocarbon molecules specifically, to generate a photovoltaic effect and convert the Sun's rays into usable DC current. The primary benefit to using organic cells is that these sheets can be printed in bulk for very little and the optical absorption coefficient of of the hydrocarbon molecules is so high that even small amounts of material can suck up a lot of light. On the other hand, organic cells are less efficient than their inorganic alternatives and tend to break down faster due to the chemical changes occurring within. Currently, these organic sheets are able to produce up to 80W in the lab and between 10 and 50W under real world conditions. These cells aren't meant to replace conventional, inorganic panels, quite the opposite in fact. "The different types of cells capture light from different parts of the solar spectrum. So rather than being competing technologies, they are actually very complementary," said CSIRO materials scientist Dr Scott Watkins. This printing technique could soon lead to buildings with PV laminated windows and exteriors and homes covered in solar shingles.
Columbus Ohio's Fleet Maintenance Building Uses TRA's Solar Racking for 640kw Elevated Solar System.
City of Columbus' Fleet Maintenance Building home to new 640 KW solar panel system installed with TRA's elevated solar racking hardware.
Winner of Dwell on Design's Best Energy Product in 2012 for the LSXCanopy, Lumos Solar is excited to unveil their newest product: Lumos SolarScapes – modular and customizable solar structures that bridge the worlds of function and design.
The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) has announced more details of events at the world's largest annual geothermal conference at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Eos Energy Storage Raises $15 Million from Strategic Investors to Advance Transformative Energy Storage Technology
Two high-profile investors in this round are Princeton, N.J.-based NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG) and Fisher Brothers.
Enclosed Trough system uses the sun's energy to produce steam for thermal EOR; exceeded contracted performance by 10 percent in first test
The solar crisis will become a boon, as record low prices boost demand, more than doubling the market to 61.7 GW – with China emerging as the largest market, Lux Research says.
Infographic by RevoluSun Explains State's Solar Market Growth and Economic Drivers
Solar Universe Announces Franchise Expansion in Key Solar Markets Across the United States in Boston, Denver and Northern California
Leading solar provider announces three new locally-owned and operated businesses in Boston, Denver and Northern California
Platform Includes Application-Specific Modules for Customers in Key Power Markets in the US and Around the World
More Than 480 Microgrid Projects Are Proposed, Under Development, or Operating Worldwide, According to Navigant Research
Microgrids are beginning to move into the mainstream, with a greater focus being placed on viable business models.
Soitec Announces Industry's First Four-Junction Solar Cell for Concentrator Photovoltaic Systems, Entering Industry's Roadmap at World-Class Level with 43.6% Efficiency
Technology innovation opens the path to competitiveness breakthrough in PV industry
Making it the world's largest fully-permitted ocean energy site.
Conergy and partner Renew HGmbH expand their collaboration with citizens' solar park
Leading UK distributor of PV products to supply innovative Renusol solar mounting systems to the UK market
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Solar & Wind - Featured Product
The Tile Replacement Mount provides a fast and easy way to install solar on tile roofs while protecting against water intrusion. Simply remove the tile and replace it with the Tile Replacement Mount. Works with all standard curved and flat tile roofs, and all standard rail-based racking systems. Flashed at both the deck and top levels, the mount is fully engineered to meet code requirements and industry best practices. The Tile Replacement Mount features Quick Mount PV's patented Elevated Water Seal technology for optimal waterproofing. Get a free sample and see for yourself!