The printed solar panel technology has been significantly improved during the last few years:
- the energy efficiency has increased from 3% to 20%.
- prices have dropped from around $40 per watt in 1977 to $0.74 per watt in 2013
Yet the solar panels are a bulky structure that is expensive to transport and to produce. As a result, it is extremely difficult to implement solar technology.
Printed solar cells could offer an alternative to this challenge:
- A 10×10 solar cell film is enough to generate as much as 10-50 watts per square meter.
- Printed solar cells are paper-thin, lightweight and extremely inexpensive to produce.
- The cells are flexible, making their transportation effortless
The printer required to generate these cells is quite expensive and requires a large capital investment. Additionally, the cells have been shown to be vulnerable to moisture and may cause lead contamination should the cell break.
After the technology is perfected, the Printed solar cells will have the potential to change people’s life: In the developing countries, the 1.3 billion who are currently living without any electricity at all could finally have access to electric power. In the developed countries, solar panel could finally become part of people’s daily life: Clothes, accessories and umbrella made with solar panel to bring back energy home. Phone cover with solar panel integrated in. Car with a Solar panel roof…
It is a huge step towards implementing a clean, renewable energy source worldwide. This is a great news for the future of our planet.