An inexpensive new kind of solar power has just been launched in Australia and it could signal the start of a groundbreaking new market for renewable energy.
Professor Paul Dastoor has created organic solar panels that can be printed using conventional printers.
By using electronic inks that are printed onto sub-millimeter thin plastic sheets, the panels can be produced for less that $10 per square meter and installed by a few people within a single work day.
Since the University of Newcastle professor developed the panels back in May 2017, they are now being tested in a 6-month pilot installation on a pallet repair facility in Australia.
The 200-square-meter installation on the building is the first commercial application of the technology in Australia, and most likely the rest of the world. If the pilot is proven to be efficient, the solar tech will likely move into the more widely-available commercial market within the next few years.
According to The Guardian, the development of such a cheap and easy-to-install material could make signing up for energy accounts as easy as signing up for a new phone plan.
“This is the first commercial uptake of printed solar in Australia, most likely the world,” said Dastoor. “It’s an historic step in the evolution of this technology and another example of private enterprise and community leading the charge in the adoption of renewables.”
“Our printed solar cells are now considered to be at the ‘top of the technology readiness tree’,” says Dastoor. “Those working in technology development use a NASA developed Technology Readiness Level or ‘TRL’ system to determine how evolved our solutions are, with 1 being the lowest and 9 the highest. We are now rated TRL 8 and essentially considered ‘green lit’.”
Power Up With Positivity And Share The Good News With Your Friends – Photo by University of Newcastle