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back to article Boffins build substrate for 'peel and stick' solar cells

A team of scientists from Stanford University has developed a "peel and stick" solar cell to demonstrate a new flexible substrate with the potential to be used by the wider electronics industry. Thin-film solar cells can be printed on an increasing variety of rigid surfaces but the team noted that it might be possible to remove …

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Bronze badge

I wish to place a bet...

.... that by the time this technology is available for sale in the UK, the companies selling it will have "invented" some hyper expensive glue that has to be used anywhere outside of the USA (or some similar excuse for selling it in the UK at 10 times the US price).

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Silver badge

Re: I wish to place a bet...

Oh, Merry Christmas, you grinch...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I wish to place a bet...

I hear ya loud and clear Ian.

I'm just looking for a monocrystalline panel right now, mainly through amazon, ebay and google.

I'm IN the USA and all I can seem to find (cost +project fit in wise) are coming from China. No wonder they targeted Chinese panels with tariff.

Every panel manufacturer I go to has no prices. They want to install. Feels like the greenwash profiteers have invaded with their freaking ppt presentations and 2MB pdf files just to find NO GOD DAMN PRICES!

Or maybe we should head over to battery manufacturers. Another fucking black art.

And Dear Amazon.com why when I fuckin type in solar panel 140 watt do I get everything from light bulbs to 400, 500, 600, 1000 watt inverters?! SOLAR PANEL AMAZON, PANEL!! +panel -"inverter"

ebay - stocked from China, unanswered questions about ITC tariff. Forget it I ain't bidding on that!

Google Shopping - come on.. solar panel 140 watt (not bad, yet overpriced (shipping or price) selection) change search to 145 watt (results in Bronze Circulator Pumps - bzzzzt FAIL) 150 watt - and we're back down to the $150 10 watt spam crap again.

I swear I am supposed to be a tech, and I am finding it harder and harder to find the most simple fucking parts these days. No I don't want to spend $5 a pop on a radio shack brand friggin PL259/RG58 connector (searching ebay is only slightly more productive) why why why, when I only paid $10 dollars for the fucking CB!? Of course I can find some coming from Hong Kong for .99 cents if I want to wait three months.

Anyway Ian, your right, there will be a VAT tax or some similar crap to target it and fuck up the cost, making most people never try it.

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Bronze badge

Re: I wish to place a bet...

I do so hear you on that.

Maplin used to be good on components, and I suppose that Radiospares is still running. but the only people I could ever rely on for having the parts I needed was the Caterpillar dealer network. Which isn't much use for electronics, but even before computers and modern "logistics", if a part wasn't in Europe it was on its way out the factory gate on its way to the airport before you could get home from Levertons.

As for the time Massey Ferguson got a supply of bearings from Russia... They just didn't last.

Kudos to the Chinese for exploiting the incompetence of Anglo-American business management, in all areas, but things such as vee-belting and ball-bearings are standardised. There's something wrong when the manufacturer supplies the cheap crap in very expensive branded boxes, and you can get the good stuff for less from a local bearing factor.

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Gold badge

Re: I wish to place a bet...

"suppose that Radiospares is still running."

You may have heard of a company called RS Components.

That's them.

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Silver badge

Re: I wish to place a bet...

Or Farnell, and if you live near enough to Leeds they will open their trade counter at almost any hour just for you.

Yes, I did that once, late at night, project running late and poof! blew up an IC.

Phoned Farnell, they had it in stock and I drive over and grabbed it.

Lifesavers, and so now, many years later I'll still buy from them first.

Their online catalogue is pretty good as well.

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Meh

Re: I wish to place a bet...

Meh.

Tech companies don't seem eager to actually justify their UK price hikes now; why waste time and money on some story when they can just jack up the price anyway?

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This post has been deleted by its author

FAIL

Re: I wish to place a bet...

This is just another example of intellectual masturbation. The whole field of "nanotech solar" and "flexible solar" is littered with great claims that don't hold up. The bottom line is that all of these groups basically take semi-decent solar cell technology and knock down it's efficiency by 90% and increase it's projected cost by x10. That is why Silicon Valley is littered with the corpses of defunct solar cell companies spun out of Stanford, Berkeley, MIT & Caltech.

Crystalline silicon has over 85% of the solar cell market because it delivers to lowest $/W. And just like the lowest $/GB dominates to disk drive industry and no one cares “what’s under the hood as long as it delivers”, lowest $/W is all that matters in solar and no one cares how “cool” the technology may be.

It is after all, a business.

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Trollface

Re: I wish... And yet definitely not buying puts.

Meh, somebody missed a ramp in 2011. You licences your tech, you books your fabs, you book and trade hold and excise fees, you ship your superoleophobic moth-eye dark themes, they pay you back for not having shipped leccy over bad lines to good places. Pretty soon you own a weird network of antediluvian car charging garages with fens and too many old supercapacitors; but it turns around. Or you could make skylight bits; all distinguishable from fap because reasonably good polycrystalline silicon isn't that much cheaper even with dyes in passivation to help the conversion rate.

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Bronze badge

My Experience

I have been interested in renewable energy for a long time, I studies it at Birmingham Uni on a part time course while I was still at High School!!

In 2000 I finally got to buy my own home, and one of the first things I did was research the prices of the panels and associated equipment. I found I could buy a "kit" containing everything needed to produce all the hot water I wanted, even during the winter - for about £800 - plus shipping and UK tax (so ~ £1,100 in total).

I also contacted several of the very few companies in the UK who advertised such systems; none of them were interested in anything other than a full installation package, and the CHEAPEST package - which did about a 1/3rd of the US kit- was quoted as costing EIGHTEEN THOUSAND POUNDS!!!

Now I know prices are a lot lower now, but we are still being royally ripped off.

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AJB
Thumb Up

Re: My Experience

A link to a page with your kit list, instructions and suppliers would be awesome about now...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My Experience

Aye, I'm not in the house market yet (sadly... too expensive) but the first thing I'd look at would probably be solar also. It's a shame really though, the initial investment at the moment just destroys any gain you'd get from the darn things for the next several years, especially with the UK weather.

Heck, by the time it's paid for itself there'll probably be a new solar tech out at half the price generating twice the power. A lot of our customers are starting to ramp up buying of solar lines with the prediction it's going to pick up in late 2013 / early 2014. So I'm hoping if it all picks up again prices may start to slowly fall.

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Bronze badge

Re: My Experience

" Heck, by the time it's paid for itself there'll probably be a new solar tech out at half the price generating twice the power"

This is definitely the sort of problem those of us in IT have seen before.

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Bronze badge
WTF?

Re: My Experience

After nearly 13 years?? Not only will the stuff be obsolete and no longer on sale, you actually expect me to remember the website??

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Re: My Experience

I've done my own home system, the biggest costs were the 500l solar tank (mine has 4 coils plus Emerson (never needed)), then SS pipe work, then pumps, then controller, then panels (China import).

Overall cost was £4.5k, payback will be around 6-8 years, did a lot of the fit myself.

Would I do it again? yes!

It got me also into installing woodburning boilers, quarterly gas bill now £25, instead of say the winter quarter bill being £700, I'd recommend it to anyone as long as you do your homework and appreciate that to get the payback you really need to stay in the house a fair few years.

Been following the PV panels for a while, might do it one day - but the efficiency needs to be higher to justify it at the moment, biggest cost again is not the panels - but the other stuff, inverters, cable, scaffolding, roof anchors.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My Experience

There is a (huge) difference between solar panels that produce hot water and solar panels that produce electricity (like the ones in the article).

Apples and pears.

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Duh,,,

Surely these dummies have heard of the concept of "self-adhesive" ?!

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Angel

Re: Duh,,,

No, no, holding out for self-assembling. I am willing to spin a mani wheel at board meetings if it means that I am growing virtual daylight windows, signage, and garden gratings and making them available for licensing. No requirements for notification when my +5 waterproof fireproof methproof crystal palaces are ready are necessary.

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Headmaster

Correction

The graphic says Si/SiO2. Shouldn't that be Ni/SiO2?

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