by Staff Writers
Espoo, Finland (SPX) Jul 28, 2016
Solar cells have been manufactured already for a long from inexpensive materials with different printing techniques. Especially organic solar cells and dye-sensitized solar cells are suitable for printing.
We wanted to take the idea of printed solar cells even further, and see if their materials could be inkjet-printed as pictures and text like traditional printing inks, tells University Lecturer Janne Halme.
When light is absorbed in an ordinary ink, it generates heat. A photovoltaic ink, however, coverts part of that energy to electricity. The darker the color, the more electricity is produced, because the human eye is most sensitive to that part of the solar radiation spectrum which has highest energy density. The most efficient solar cell is therefore pitch-black.
The idea of a colorful, patterned solar cell is to combine also other properties that take advantage of light on the same surface, such as visual information and graphics.
For example, installed on a sufficiently low-power electrical device, this kind of solar cell could be part of its visual design, and at the same time produce energy for its needs, ponders Halme.
With inkjet printing, the photovoltaic dye could be printed to a shape determined by a selected image file, and the darkness and transparency of the different parts of the image could be adjusted accurately.
The inkjet-dyed solar cells were as efficient and durable as the corresponding solar cells prepared in a traditional way. They endured more than one thousand hours of continuous light and heat stress without any signs of performance degradation, says Postdoctoral Researcher Ghufran Hashmi.
The dye and electrolyte that turned out to be best were obtained from the research group in the Swiss Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, where Dr. Hashmi worked as a visiting researcher.
The most challenging thing was to find suitable solvent for the dye and the right jetting parameters that gave precise and uniform print quality, tells Doctoral Candidate Merve Ozkan.
The research results opens up new possibilities for the development of decorative product- and building-integrated solar cells. The results were published in the most renowned journal in energy research, the Energy and Environmental Science.
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|