Friday, March 7, 2008

posted by Sarah Krasley @ 1:57 AM
After reading this post on PSFK, I felt bad for yelling at my ink jet printer so much.

The implications of being able to print solar panels with similar technology to printing newspapers is huge--not only for people in the Western world, but also people in developing countries. It stands to dramatically lower the cost of solar because one of the main cost drivers that makes solar so expensive are the manufacturing processes. Also, it makes the technology more accessible and able to be produced (at least in part) locally, a production model that has served the wind industry well (geek out on that here).

Here's the post from PSFK:

by Jeff Squires

power plastic 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.”

[via TrendHunter]

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