Paper-thin solar cells to turn any surface into a power source
POWER & RENEWABLE ENERGY

Paper-thin solar cells to turn any surface into a power source

MIT researchers created an ultra-thin, ultra-light solar cell that may be used to convert practically any surface into a solar power source. The flexible solar cells are far thinner than human hair and are attached to a lightweight cloth to make installation on any fixed surface easier.

The current version of the novel lightweight photovoltaic (PV) cells, according to Vladimir Bulovi, lead author of the article on the research published in the journal Small Methods, is not as efficient in power conversion as silicon PVs, but they weigh significantly less. In the medium term, they would not be utilised to replace traditional silicon PV installations, but rather to provide power in areas where silicon PVs are difficult to instal.

Bulovic goes on to say that they can be utilised to transmit solar energy to remote locations. Because our PV modules are 18 times lighter per Watt generated than silicon PV modules, they may be readily shipped and installed in remote areas. As technology advances, it will achieve the efficiency currently achieved by silicon PVs. The flexible PV modules can then be regarded as a replacement for silicon PVs.

To construct this unique solar cell technology, the researchers employed nanoparticles in printable electronic inks. They employed a "slot-die coater" to deposit layers of electronic materials onto a 3-micron thick substrate. They then used a screen printing technique to print an electrode and deposit it on the substrate to complete the solar cell. At this point, the printed module is about 15 microns in thickness, and researchers can peel off the plastic substrate to get the device. For comparison, human hair is around 70 microns thick on average.

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MIT researchers created an ultra-thin, ultra-light solar cell that may be used to convert practically any surface into a solar power source. The flexible solar cells are far thinner than human hair and are attached to a lightweight cloth to make installation on any fixed surface easier. The current version of the novel lightweight photovoltaic (PV) cells, according to Vladimir Bulovi, lead author of the article on the research published in the journal Small Methods, is not as efficient in power conversion as silicon PVs, but they weigh significantly less. In the medium term, they would not be utilised to replace traditional silicon PV installations, but rather to provide power in areas where silicon PVs are difficult to instal. Bulovic goes on to say that they can be utilised to transmit solar energy to remote locations. Because our PV modules are 18 times lighter per Watt generated than silicon PV modules, they may be readily shipped and installed in remote areas. As technology advances, it will achieve the efficiency currently achieved by silicon PVs. The flexible PV modules can then be regarded as a replacement for silicon PVs. To construct this unique solar cell technology, the researchers employed nanoparticles in printable electronic inks. They employed a slot-die coater to deposit layers of electronic materials onto a 3-micron thick substrate. They then used a screen printing technique to print an electrode and deposit it on the substrate to complete the solar cell. At this point, the printed module is about 15 microns in thickness, and researchers can peel off the plastic substrate to get the device. For comparison, human hair is around 70 microns thick on average. Also read Steel imports from Russia jump over 400% in Apr-Nov period Lokayukta Bill passed by Maharashtra assembly

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