In May last year, Professor Paul Dastur, who works at the University of Newcastle, introduced a solar polymer film created using electronic ink printing. Photovoltaic panels with a thickness of less than a millimeter with a double-sided adhesive coating look like packaging material and have a production cost of less than $10 per square meter.
Dastur worked on this technology for more than ten years, and this year he organized the first two-hundred-meter installation in Canberra. using its solar film to demonstrate its commercial potential.
The main disadvantage of printed flexible organic solar cells compared to silicon panels and their fragility is, since the photocell in the films is destroyed much faster. However, Professor Dastur believes that this problem is offset by the low cost and ease of replacing elements:
At the current stage, the development of solar energy rests on the question: how much is the energy produced? Films are simple and cheap to manufacture and install, and on an industrial scale, the cost of electricity received with their help is quite competitive.
Dastur predicts that wholesale solar energy providers will soon begin signing customers up to their tariff plans, similar to mobile operators.
It will take one day to install an average roof station to collect solar energy and five technicians, and printing film with solar cells at an inexpensive their printers can be hundreds of meters a day.
Operation of the demonstration sample in Canberra with the replacement of used films as needed will last six months. At the end of the test period, the Dastur team plans to introduce his invention on an industrial scale.