“We found that the performance of our spray coated solar cells is the same as cells made with more traditional research methods, but which are impossible to scale in manufacturing,” says Professor David Lidzey. (Credit: iStockphoto)

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY – Posted by Paul Mannion-Sheffield on Monday, February 11, 2013 13:43

For cheap solar cells, use ‘spray paint’

U. SHEFFIELD (UK) — Making solar cells with a process similar to spray-painting could significantly lower their cost and make them available to people in developing countries.

The method spray-coats a photovoltaic active layer by an air based process—similar to spraying regular paint from a can—to develop a cheaper technique which can be mass produced.

“Spray coating is currently used to apply paint to cars and in graphic printing,” says David Lidzey, professor at the University of Sheffield. “We have shown that it can also be used to make solar cells using specially designed plastic semiconductors. Maybe in the future surfaces on buildings and even car roofs will routinely generate electricity with these materials.

“We found that the performance of our spray coated solar cells is the same as cells made with more traditional research methods, but which are impossible to scale in manufacturing. We now do most of our research using spray coating.”

Read more: Futurity.org – For cheap solar cells, use ‘spray paint’.

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