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Researchers: cheap plastic solar cells in 5 – 7 years

298998_solar_cellsResearchers in Canada say the public could see cheap and easy-to-manufacture plastic solar cells on the market in the next five to seven years, according to an item in today’s Energy Efficiency News.

The researchers at the National Institute for Nanotechnology and the University of Alberta say the largest obstacle to mass-produced plastic solar cells today is that it’s not easy to bind the various layers together effectively, which hinder performance. They’re working to develop better binding materials — “special sauces” for the plastic solar-cell “sandwich.”

So far, the researchers say they’ve managed to improve the performance of plastic solar cells by some 30 percent. Eventually, the goal is to develop a system for producing efficient plastic solar cells that could be printed out for large-scale commercial use.

1 Comment

  • SolarLad
    Posted March 6, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    This is definitely an area to watch although there are already companies who have had a lot of success with variations of this process.
    Unisolar has achieved records in thin-film efficiency through a “multi-junction” approach that lays different levels of amorphous cells on top of one another.
    Also, Nanosolar has accomplished “roll to roll” production which can print solar cells like newspaper.
    Exciting times!

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