Australian researchers from The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation have found a way to create huge but extremely light and bendable solar panels.
The A3-sized panels are created by placing a fluid photovoltaic or pv ink onto slim, bendable plastic. This could mean that in the near future everyone has the capability to create their own solar energy farm at home.
Dr Scott Watkins, CSIRO materials researcher stated on the subject:
“The general concept of being able to manufacture on demand, in a house or in a workplace, is really a key feature of what we’re doing.”
Five years did the scientists at CSIRO need to develop the bendable solar panels, which currently are gaining interest from big companies that see a variety of use cases. Mobile phones, notebooks and magazines are potential products that could carry them in the near future. “There are so many things we can do with cells this size. We can set them into advertising signage, powering lights and other interactive elements. We can even embed them into laptop cases to provide backup power for the machine inside,” Dr Watkins said.
The capability to print solar panels is not new in itself – but what is new is the capability to create them as huge and powerful as the Aussie edition. A new $200,000 3D printer makes this all possible. This 3D printer can print 30 centimetre-wide panels which generate between 10 to 50 watts of power per square metre and have been proven to last at least six months.