March 17, 2024

CSIRO Researchers Claim Record-Breaking Efficiency In Printed Flexible Solar

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) of Australia-led researchers achieved up to 15.5% efficiency on individual small-area cells and 11% efficiency on 50 cm² large-scale solar panels made of hybrid perovskite solar cells that were optimised through roll-to-roll fabrication.

The study, which was released by Nature Communications in its journal's 15th edition, claims to be the first demonstration of hybrid perovskite solar cell modules. These modules are made up of serially connected cells and were made entirely with industrial roll-to-roll printing equipment in ambient room conditions.

The research organization worked with researchers from the Universities of Sydney, Monash, Cambridge, and New South Wales to reach this significant milestone.

Development of Printed, Flexible Solar Cells

Printed solar cells are becoming a more viable option than silicon panels because of their flexibility, high efficiency, and falling cost. Their deployment adaptability stems from their ability to stick to a variety of surfaces, including clothes, wearables, cars, and structures. 

Nevertheless, it has been difficult to increase output while retaining efficiency; many completely printed flexible solar panel manufacturers have only managed to achieve one or two percent efficiency.

An important advancement in the production of fully roll-to-roll printed, flexible solar cells with previously unheard-of levels of efficiency has been made by scientists, increasing the amount of power that can be produced from sunshine. While near-typical panel efficiency has been reached by small lab-scale solar cells, scaling them up for practical application remains a difficulty.

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The real breakthrough, as highlighted by CSIRO, is the achievement of 11 percent efficiency for large-scale solar panels measuring 50 cm2 and composed of interconnected solar cells. This advancement marks a significant step towards the practical application of printed solar technology.

flexible solar

Perovskite and Printing Presses: Enhancing Energy Efficiency

The discovery of perovskite as a possible alternative material is driving innovation in solar panels, which have historically relied on silicon. When combined with ink and printed on industrial printers, perovskite presents a viable alternative to silicon in terms of cost and energy efficiency. It is portable and adaptable for a range of uses because of its lightweight and flexibility.

flexible solar panel manufacturing

Lead Researcher for Printable Photovoltaics, Dr. Mei Gao, displaying the fully roll-to-roll printed solar cells

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