Low Cost Spray-On Solar Cells
Low-cost spray-on solar cells are under development at The University of Sheffield Department of Physics and Astronomy In the UK. This method could result in a big drop in the price of solar electricity. Creating a solar panel will be as easy as spray-painting a surface. The spray technique results in very little waste, which helps to keep manufacturing costs low.
(Solar cell sprayer)
If the technique takes off we could see solar cells built into everything from cars to clothes, leading to a move away from centralised power generation.
The cells are made from a rival material to market-dominating silicon: perovskite. Although only recently adopted for use in solar cells, the material is gaining popularity due its low price and energy costs.
“There is a lot of excitement around perovskite-based photovoltaics,” explained Professor David Lidzey, lead researcher from The University of Sheffield Department of Physics and Astronomy.
“Remarkably, this class of material offers the potential to combine the high performance of mature solar cell technologies with the low embedded energy costs of production of organic photovoltaics.”
I read about this idea almost twenty years ago; sf writer Larry Niven popularized it in his 1995 story The Woman in Del Rey Crater:
Black Power, they call it. It turns sunlight into electricity, just like any solar power converter, but you spray it on.
(Read more about Niven's black power)
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