Mass-produced, 3D printable solar cells could change everything.
Geege Schuman stashed this in Energy
The group, consisting of scientists from the CSIRO, the University of Melbourne and Monash University have been working on the technology for over seven years and have figured out a way to cheaply print the panels onto plastic, including smart-phones and laptops, enabling self charging electronics. They are also able to print directly on to walls and windows using an opaque solar film and claim that they can line a skyscraper with panels, making it totally electrically self sufficient.
3D printed solar panels could be HUGE.
"We print them onto plastic in more or less the same way we print our plastic banknotes," Scholes told Emily Stewart at ABC News. "Connecting our solar panels is as simple as connecting a battery. It’s very cheap. The way in which it looks and works is quite different to conventional silicon rooftop solar."
Scholes added that the solar cells can be printed to be semi-transparent, so could cover tinted windows all over a skyscraper to power it.
According to ABC News, the team is now working on a solar spray coating, and a number of companies are ready to buy into the technology. "We would like to improve the efficiency of solar panels - we need to develop solar inks to generate more energy from sunlight,” said Scholes. "We are confident we can push the technology further in the years to come."