One of the big problems in the world of printed solar cells is scale: it's much easier to print a cell the size of a fingernail than one of useful size. Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) believes a process announced last week changes all that. Doing the hard work is a $AUD200,000 …
Other things it would be nice to know
If this stuff approaches the price of paint, then they have a winner.
Alternatively, it has to last for a long time. Organics typically don't, and nowhere I've seen mentions it. Silicon is already at $1/Watt, and it lasts for 25 years or so. Regardless of how easy it is to apply, if this stuff only lasts 5 years and costs the same as Silicon, maintenance costs will kill it.
The price of AU$200,000 seems really inexpensive. We have some fairly low grade laser tubbing cutters and they cost close to 3.5x what this printing system does and their end products don't have what I would call a wide customer base. At this price these things could spring up everywhere.
If nothing else they could completely alter the real economics of PV installations. The transportation costs are the most expensive and complex part of the industry (for dealers and consumers anyway) and if you could just drive one truck on site & print everything up the machine would pay for itself in a hurry.
It looks like they are heading in the right direction decent chances of success. Lets hope they can keep improving the tech, to the point we can buy a roll of cheap solar panel to lay with worthwhile output.
The CSIRO have form at picking good directions.
How well do they handle heat?
Given that typically you get about 1kw/m^2 from sunlight, 1-5% efficiency is poor even by solar panel standards.
So these things are mostly absorbing between 950 and 990w (yes some will be reflected), which will mostly be converted to heat.
I'm curious how hot they actually get and how much that impacts efficiency further.
"Have you heard about the government subsidy for solar panels?"
Arrgh! Stop ringing me! I don't have a roof!
As long as it doesn't become part of a government "scheme" where people how much they can rip it off it should be fine.
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