New thin solar panels can be attached to any surface. By 2023, they will be 3% more effective than their counterparts.
Professor of Physics at the University of Newcastle, Paul Dastur, said his team had completed a fully functional demonstration project and they have a few more developments that could become commercial in the future. Before putting them into production they have a few years of development left, they plan to build the first solar cell plant in Australia.
Devices use organic polymers that capture solar energy and conduct electricity. Liquid polymers are laid on sheets of material in layers – from them are obtained panels with a thickness of 0.075 mm. Researchers abandoned silicon – the main material used in traditional panels.
The team estimated that in order to be competitive, the technology must work for at least three years and work 3% more efficiently than conventional panels. Researchers will be able to achieve such results by 2023.
The researchers added that in the near future, printed solar panels could be installed on any surface. They will be able to work as a source of electricity for city lighting, water pumps on roadsides, and supply temporary shelters. Moreover, they can be installed even in places where standard panels cannot be installed – “smart” blinds, floating canopies, dams, pools and even yacht sails.