Published on February 5th, 2009 | by Ariel Schwartz1
Coming Soon: Spray-On Solar Panels
February 5th, 2009 by Ariel Schwartz
Spray-on tans, spray-on solar panels…what’s next? Researchers at the Australian National University are working with Spark Solar Australia and Braggone Oy on a three-year project to develop spray-on solar panels that are both cheap and highly efficient.
Traditionally, solar cells are made of silicon coated with a thin layer of anti-reflective silicon nitrate. The cells are expensive to produce because they are made in a vacuum. With the spray-on method, cells travel along a conveyor belt and are sprayed with hydrogen film and anti-reflective film as they go, thus removing the need for a vacuum.
Scientists working on the project also hope to increase cell efficiency beyond the normal range of 5 to 24 percent.
ANU is currently testing the process, and commercial production is expected to begin in 2011.
Photo Credit: Sustainable Energy Systems