Australia’s countdown begins to kick off printed solar panels that can be produced at unprecedented speed until now. With only ten printers in operation, it could generate as many as to supply power to 1,000 homes per day and this, in addition, at a production cost of $ 10 per square meter of panels.
All of this has been proven after years of work by the Australian University of Newcastle, where a new milestone has been taken with the installation of 100 square meters of printed modules on the campus roof. “There are only three demonstration sites of this scale in the world, so Australia is one of the elite who are striving to make this technology a commercial reality.»Says Paul Dastoor, teacher and designer of printed panels.
With this installation you have the final testing phase of this innovation has started, which has already given results in real conditions. These suggest that at production speed and price, this proposal adds as an advantage its good performance over conventional photovoltaic panels in terms of the constancy of the capture flux in cloudy conditions and low light intensity.
But the competitive advantage of these panels is that at present no other solution can be produced at such speed. With a production price that makes this technology viable, the panels printed by conventional processes using advanced electronic ink. The development of its components took years of work from researchers, who are now synthesizing this ink on a large scale. using non-toxic carbon materials and apply it directly or turn it into ink with water.
Another aspect that has had an impact on these panels is that their low weight allows them to be placed very easily, practically as if a sheet were spread out which, at the end, is attached with velcro strips. On this particularity, the principal researcher underlined its importance to facilitate the installation works everywhere in the world and in any emergency situation.
“This technology is inexpensive and very easily transportable, which makes it ideal for applications in most countries of the world, in which it is estimated that more than 1,200 million people still do not have access to electricity ”says Dastoor, who points out that these panels can be very effective as an energy source in humanitarian disasters.
With these virtues, the panels imagined by the Australian university have already aroused the interest of the private sector, with which an alliance has been concluded, in particular with the logistics company Chep, with which it works on the pilot of a commercial scale installation on the roof of one of the company’s centers, which she hopes to launch in the next year.
Meanwhile, the panels installed at Newcastle University are currently serving as a test lab where this technology will continue to be evaluated in order to apply improvements and finally be able to bring panels to market that can breathe new life into the system. printing industry. , as well as writing a new chapter in Clean Energy Advances.
More information in University of Newcastle.