Saturday, July 16, 2011

Solar Cells Printed On Paper

While browsing today I found this article about the latest advance from MIT in photo-voltaic cells. My next door neighbor wanted to take his house totally or partly off the grid but the cost was close to what his house was worth. (And you know it would be obsolete in less than a year or 2.) However this new technology heralds another way to create cheap photovoltaic items that are mobile. Printing with ink on paper seems similar to the news of being able to paint photovoltaic cells on surfaces. This way you could just laminate the paper hook it up to your device and it has power. It could be especially useful for developing and poor countries that lack electricity in rural areas. This would be great in Thailand.
The US needs to start producing this stuff today. But I am sure they will off shore it to China. Read on for a look to the future. You gotta get excited over this one!!!
Khun Rut

Solar Cells Printed On Paper | New Energy and Fuel: "It’s not a joke, MIT’s Miles C. Barr, Jill A. Rowehl, Richard R. Lunt, Jingjing Xu, Annie Wang, Christopher M. Boyce, Sung Gap Im, and Vladimir Bulović led by Karen K. Gleason are printing photovoltaic cells on regular paper. Moreover, the process as being reported in MIT News, its possible to print on ordinary untreated paper, cloth or plastic as the substrate for building a solar cell array.
The new technology paper is published in the journal Advanced Materials, published online July 8.
The MIT News article opens describing that the sheet of paper looks like any other document that might have just come spitting out of an office printer, with an array of colored rectangles printed over much of its surface. But then a researcher picks it up, clips a couple of wires to one end, and shines a light on the paper. Instantly an LCD clock display at the other end of the wires starts to display the time. Seems to work, and considering the skill sets and innovative atmosphere at MIT its not a great surprise so much as a quite pleasant one. Photovoltaic is still far too expensive for mass adoption, and in the current economy and government situations, PV is a technology that must self wean itself from incentives."

The device is tough, formed from special “inks” deposited on the paper. It can be folded up to slip into a pocket, then unfolded to watch it again generating electricity in the sunlight.  It’s a more complex than just printing out a paper. In order to create an array of photovoltaic cells on the paper, five layers of material need to be deposited onto the same sheet of paper in successive passes, using a mask (also made of paper) to form the patterns of cells on the surface. And the process has to take place in a vacuum chamber.
Solar Cells Printed on Paper. Graduate student Miles Barr holds a sheet of paper that has had one of the layers of the solar cell printed on its surface. Image Credit: Patrick Gillooly.
But the basic process is essentially the same as the one used to make the silvery lining in your bag of potato chips: a vapor-deposition process that can be carried out inexpensively on a vast commercial scale.  When one considers the total area of metalized bags like potato chips versus photovoltaic panels the idea of the scale becomes clearer.


Annas paper said...

Thanks for sharing this information. it is a use able information. this is a nice and good blog.

Metalised Printed Paper

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