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Scientists in Australia have been able to produce the largest ever printed solar cells using a newly developed solar cell printer. Yes, they are printing solar cells.

Photo of Yujun Zhang
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The cells are flexible, cheap, and made from organic plastics and materials.

According to scientist Dr Scott Watkins, printing cells on such a large scale opens up a huge range of possibilities for pilot applications:

“There are so many things we can do with cells this size[...]We can set them into advertising signage, powering lights and other interactive elements. We can even embed them into laptop cases to provide backup power for the machine inside.” 

Dr. David Jones has a few more uses in mind:

“Eventually we see these being laminated to windows that line skyscrapers. By printing directly to materials like steel, we’ll also be able to embed cells onto roofing materials.”

The technology and manufacturing are still in the research phase, but scientists behind the project are hopeful for it’s future use for consumers.

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Photo of Nirav Dedhia

What advantages does it have over the existing solar cell technology? Agreed it sounds awesome but does it sustain the efficiency, cost and durability test? To be implemented I shall be more interested in knowing the immediate advantages. Else this may just remain a technology used to power small custom devices.