Are we there yet with printing solar cells?

On a fairly regular bases news out of research around solar power by making solar cells more efficient, less expensive and preferable let them attach or print onto any surface pop up in the news.

Especially around the sunny summer time such news gain weight as anyone hanging out under the sun these days can easily imagine how much energy the sun is sending down to us earthlings.

So what is the expectation on the latest solar power research coming from MIT?

MIT’s researcher have been able to use a simple printing technique similar to the one used to print ‘silver lining in your bag of potato chips‘ to fabricate photovoltaic cells on cheap, flexible and lightweight substrates such as paper and potentially fabrics.

Forming a functional solar cell, multiple layers of ink have to be printed on cheaper, flexible and lighter  substrates than the glass of conventional solar cells. Attach wires to the printed cells and the sun’s power is ready for our gadgets – though – the efficiency of this type of printed solar cell is around 1% right now. There has to go much more (re)search into this technique before anyone could consider to power even a nano Pod with it.

The advantage would be of course obvious: light weight, potentially really cheaply to make and able to be used on none conformable surfaces such as the human body.

Oh well – wearable power is still high up in the sky for now but initiatives like this, pushing the boundary of the imaginable will one day deliver a highly efficient, reasonable costing wearable power solution.

[via: Fast Company]

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