This 3D Printable Solar Panel Might Just Be The Alternative We Need
Solar energy is known to be the best alternative energy source. We have known its potential for over a hundred years but haven’t been able to take advantage of this clean energy source because of multiple reasons. Fortunately (or unfortunately), the world is now on an emergency alternative searching mode with the effects of global warming being felt everywhere. There have been a good number of R&D going into making efficient Solar panels that are pocket-friendly too. One such alternative can be found in the manufacturing technology of tomorrow, i.e., 3D Printing.
3D printing is an efficient method of production. Like a regular printer, designs can be downloaded from the internet and printed at any location. As it can be digitally spread, it can be easily sent to any part of the world where it can be copied and printed. It’s a boon for space travel as we don’t need to carry a huge load of spares. Now this revolutionary technology is used by 50 scientists who are experts in various fields to power the planet.
The scientist have worked for years to develop paper-thin, printable solar panels as part of the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium. The consortium is comprised of members of CSIRO, Melbourne and Monash Universities. The technology, they say, will change the way we charge personal electronics. Imagine your laptop bags, Phone and Tablet covers will not just be safely covered but will help charge up the device on the move.
The ultimate goal they say will be to create these panels for all the windows of the skyscrapers so that these building could power up themselves. According to the consortium’s website, the difference between existing solar panels and the technology it is developing is “organic cells offer the potential to allow printing directly onto materials such as roofing and windows and therefore open intriguing building integrated design opportunities.”
The researchers have been successful in reducing the size of the solar panels to the size of a coin. This was achieved by using ordinary 3D printers adapted to work with solar ink. They say this technique results in cheaper solar cells in comparison to conventional silicon rooftop solar panels.
The team wants to take the research to an even more convenient stage. They are presently working on spray painted coating. They say connecting to their solar panels is as simple as connecting a battery.
The potential of this technology is limitless. The researchers see a huge number of consumer applications of the technology like product packaging, windows and window furnishings, temporary structures, remote locations and developing communities.
Many companies seem to be showing interest in this technology. Hopefully this technology is implemented before the present fuel reserves are exhausted and we are left with no light and no internet. The day without Facebook would be the day of the apocalypse.