Solar Cells Printed on Paper

Solar panels can be great in that they can provide power anywhere there is light from the sun. Right now though the panels are quite expensive to produce and require a bit of equipment to store energy captured for use at a later date.

A company are now looking at printing solar cells on to paper. By using carbon-based dyes the cells are created with an efficiency of about 1.5 to 2 percent…

The materials MIT researchers used are carbon-based dyes and the cells are about 1.5 percent to 2 percent efficient at converting sunlight to electricity. But any material could be used if it can be deposited at room temperature, Bulovic said. ‘Absolutely, the trick was coming up with ways to use paper, he said.

1.5 to 2% isn’t the best efficiency obviously and when compared to regular solar panels which run at 20% to 40% efficiency, it seems like quite a way off. But it is still very early days and right now printing cells on to paper is just there to show that it can be done, with the next few years being used to fine tune the product before being released to public.

By printing solar cells on to paper it allows for a light weight solar panel that is more flexible in terms of where it can be used and how easy it will be to have it installed.

If we find out more about this technology we’ll make sure we mention it again. [CrunchGear]

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