3D-printed solar cells are less expensive, easier to fabricate, and can be deployed quickly.

Do you recall the solar panels created by Prof. Paul Dastoor of the University of New Castle and his team using a 3D printer? If you don’t, it’s a timeless tale worth remembering. Let’s get started…

The energy business can benefit greatly from 3D printing. Dastoor and his colleagues invented lightweight, ultra-flexible, recyclable, and low-cost solar panels four years ago.

The University of Newcastle was one of only three facilities worldwide that tested printed solar, which employed electronic inks to conduct energy.
“It’s not like a typical solar cell at all.” “They are often enormous, hefty, and enclosed in glass that is tens of millimeters thick,” Dastoor told Mashable. “We’re printing them on less than 0.1-millimeter thick plastic film.”
“Because there have been so few of these artworks worldwide, we know very little about how they perform in public.” This installation is the next essential step in the technology’s development and commercialization. It provides a fresh setting for us to test performance and durability against a variety of different difficulties,” Professor Dastoor stated in a 2018 press release.

They intended to demonstrate considerable progress toward commercialization of the material for 3D printed solar panels.

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What were the advantages?

The concept began to take “real” shape when the year 2019 approached. Printed solar was rapid and cheap to produce, with a production cost of less than $10 per square meter, thanks to commercial-scale gear capable of producing kilometers of material every day.

“No other renewable energy technology can be manufactured at the same rate.” “The low cost and rapid deployment of this technology are interesting because we need to discover solutions rapidly,” stated Professor Dastoor.
The material was recyclable in over 99 percent of the panels produced of PET, providing it a unique edge over typical silicon panels.

“This is the first commercial application of printed solar in Australia, and most likely the globe,” Dastoor added. “It’s a watershed moment in the advancement of this technology, and another example of private industry and community driving the charge in renewables adoption.”solar cells

What lies ahead for us in the future?

Prof. Paul Dastoor claimed that printed solar technology could be developed shortly to fit almost any surface and be installed on anything from smart blinds for residential buildings to floating covers for dams and pools, greenhouse covers, or even yacht sails to power urban lighting, roadside water pumps, disaster shelters, caravans, and camping equipment.

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