Scientists at the University of Queensland have designed stick-on solar cells made from low-cost plastics, being cheaper than the silicon panels fixed to rooftops. According to the researchers these solar cells can be used to power everything from tiny electronic devices to your homes and can revolutionize solar energy generation.
“There is no reason why the plastics which now cover many of today’s electronic gadgets could not also provide the solar energy to power them.” said the University of Queensland’s principal researcher. According to the same researcher, this new technology could easily power a vehicle. “With the right battery technology… it is probably very much suited to solar powering of cars,” he said.
The new solar cells can generate power at a cost of around $1 per watt, which might sound expensive but is actually around one eight of the cost of electric energy stored in a conventional silicon solar cell. “That is around $1000 per kilowatt, so by a factor of eight less expensive that a silicon module.”
According to the researcher this new technology will be ready for production and cells should be available in the next two years. Fellow researcher Paul Burns said that have been awarded a $1.9 million grant to further develop the technology for the market.