Peel-and-stick Solar Panels

Stick on Solar Panels

Peel-and-stick Soalr Cell applied to a cellular phone

Decal-like application process allows thin, flexible solar panels to be applied to virtually any surface from business cards to roofs to window panes, by Glen Martin.

Stanford researchers have succeeded in developing the world’s first peel-and-stick thin-film solar cells. The advance is described in a paper in the December 20th issue of Scientific Reports.

While others have been successful in fabricating thin-film solar cells on flexible substrates before, those efforts have required modifications of existing processes or materials, notes Lee. “The main contribution of our work is that we have done so without modifying any existing processes, facilities or materials, making them viable commercially. And we have demonstrated our process on a more diverse array of substrates than ever before,” – Doctoral candidate Chi Hwan Lee says.

“Now you can put them on helmets, cell phones, convex windows, portable electronic devices, curved roofs, clothing – virtually anything,” says Assistant Professor Xiaolin Zheng.

Moreover, peel-and-stick technology isn’t necessarily restricted to thin-film solar cells, Zheng said. The researchers believe the process can also be applied to thin-film electronics, including printed circuits, ultra thin transistors and LCDs.

“Obviously, a lot of new products – from ‘smart’ clothing to new aerospace systems – might be possible by combining both thin-film electronics and thin-film solar cells,” observes Zheng.

The authors of the Scientific Reports paper – “Peel-and-Stick: Fabricating Thin Film Solar Cell on Universal Substrates” – are Chi Hwan Lee, In Sun Cho and Xiaolin Zheng from Stanford’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dong Rip Kim from Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea, and Nemeth William and Qi Wang from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Denver, Colorado.
Glen Martin is a freelance writer working for the Stanford University School of Engineering.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012

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Entrepreneur and business developer for community projects in Southern-Africa, with outreach experience since 1984. A focus upon encouraging households, business, agricultural and farming towards ever greener technology.