Massachusetts-based Konarka Technologies have apparently manufactured the first ever solar cells by inkjet printing. This major advancement has the potential to drastically reduce the cost of production by eliminating the need for clean rooms.
By developing a new breed of flexible photovoltaic material, solar panels can not only be produced at a lower cost, but can be printed or coated onto a variety of surfaces using roll-to-roll manufacturing, similar to how newspaper is printed on large rolls of paper.
From the press release:
“Demonstrating the use of inkjet printing technology as a fabrication tool for highly efficient solar cells and sensors with small area requirements is a major milestone,” commented Rick Hess, president and CEO at Konarka. “This essential breakthrough in the field of printed solar cells positions Konarka as an emerging leader in printed photovoltaics.”