Gallery: Australia’s Largest Solar Cell Printer Can Spit Out a Photovol...

 

An incredible new printer at the University of Melbourne has allowed researchers to print solar cells up to the size of an A3 sheet of paper. Developed in collaboration between the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium (VICOSC), CSIRO, and the University of Melbourne, the solar cell printer makes renewable energy even easier to source.

The solar cell printer can transform plastic or metal into photovoltaic panels ranging from the size of a fingernail up to an A3 sheet of paper. CSIRO’s Dr. Scott Watkins foresees these cells being used on rooftops, glass surfaces, or even personal devices like laptops. In just three years, the researchers behind the printer have been able to increase the output size from just 2 centimeters to 30 centimeters wide.

The printer cost a whopping $200,000, although the University of Melbourne is accepting proposals for manufacturing orders – which will allow small companies to gain access to the device to print out projects (much like a screenprinting business).

The printer lays semiconducting inks onto plastic or steel at a rate of one cell every two seconds.  Printed on flexible material, the solar cells are more versatile than silicon solar panels. The team will continue to work on making the printer more affordable so that they can make it available for purchase by other companies.

University of Melbourne

Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium

+ CSIRO

Via Phys Org

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4 Comments

  1. MrKhris June 6, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    May I have a few? ‘Kay, thanks, bye. :)

  2. rodgerolsen June 2, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Unfortunately, these cells deteriorate in sunlight. Not a good characteristic for solar cells.

  3. Ojoe May 24, 2013 at 10:00 am

    This is incredible! What Voltage? how many watts per sheet? what is the efficiency? Also, what is the estimated cost for a sample for a 20W sheet? or something close to that wattage?

  4. makaludan May 16, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    What compounds ad or minerals are used to create the solar cell?

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