MatHero Aims to Develop Printable, Organic Solar Cell
The MatHero project aims to develop organic solar cells out of a polymer-based material like the one shown here. The project will use new materials and find green processes to synthesize cells and coat them with photovoltaic material. (Source: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)
Thanks, Daniyal_Ali. I agree that this is an important effort and deserves a lot more credit than it may be getting. Although it is garnering substantial media coverage. But I suppose the proof will be in the pudding--or in this case, the solar cell developed by the project's end!
Rightly said Liz. If they can prove the efficiency of these organic modules, it would be a very positive step towards renewable energy. This could lead to a new generation of solar modules which would be flexible, lightweight and most importantly, low-priced.
While there is a lot of research out there to make solar cells more efficient, perform better and be placed in more interesting locations (on window panes, for example), I think this is the first one to seek to make one that is completely organic. I think this is important. If promoters of renewable energies like solar use their benefits for the environment as one way of encouraging people to use one, creating one that is more or less negative impact free is a good way to really walk the walk and not just talk the talk.
That's a good point, Daniyal_Ali, I think this project aims to work on that aspect of producing this cell as well. I think your'e right in that once they complete the project there will be a lot more details on how this works out in terms of cost, efficiency, performance and the like.
Interesting notion, Cabe, but I think you're right if they could make the cells small enough. Not sure about windows, but there are already a number of options for that application. Not organic, as far as I know, though.
Good news, but we do need to focus more on the production processes and refine them so that the overall cost can be reduced further. Moreover, did they share any technical specifications of this solar cell and its predicted efficiency? Let's see how their 500mW project turns out. That would definitely clear all the details.
It won't be too much longer and hardware design, as we used to know it, will be remembered alongside the slide rule and the Karnaugh map. You will need to move beyond those familiar bits and bytes into the new world of software centric design.
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