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Flexible peel-and-stick solar cells developed

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#1
Researchers at Stanford University have created the world’s first flexible photovoltaic solar cells. The new solar cells can be applied to almost anything and the scientists demonstrated this by putting the solar cells on peel-and-stick film which can be applied to rough, smooth, flat or curved surfaces. Until now most solar cells were rigid, stiff and relatively heavy fixed structures mostly due to having to be applied to substrates like glass.



The scientific paper detailing the new peel-and-stick solar cells was published by Nature late last week and entitled Peel-and-Stick: Fabricating Thin Film Solar Cell on Universal Substrates. The paper describes how it is currently difficult to manufacture solar cells using anything other than rigid and heat tolerant silicon or glass based materials, however “Here, we report a new peel-and-stick process that circumvents these fabrication challenges by peeling off the fully fabricated TFSCs from the original Si wafer and attaching TFSCs to virtually any substrates regardless of materials, flatness and rigidness.” So manufacturing is done on a rigid, heat resistant surface and then the solar cells are peeled/transferred off.

Using the peel-and-stick process the researchers could apply solar cells to many different surfaces such as paper, plastics, mobile phones and room windows. Furthermore the surfaces where you apply the peel-and-stick cells to don’t have to be flat; “Now you can put them on helmets, cell phones, convex windows, portable electronic devices, curved roofs, clothing – virtually anything,” said Xiaolin Zheng, a Stanford assistant professor of mechanical engineering and senior author of the research paper.



Importantly none of this bending and shaping and added flexibility in the solar cells had an impact upon the original solar cell efficiency. It’s not a case of taking a step forward and then a step back. The peel-and-stick process is also frugal with resources “There's also no waste. The silicon wafer is typically undamaged and clean after removal of the solar cells, and can be reused,” explained Zheng.

http://hexus.net/ce/news/gadgets/49681-flexible-peel-and-stick-solar-cells-developed/
 

newtekie1

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#2
Thats pretty awesome, and I could definitely see some uses for it. But what kind of output are we talking about here? Would one of those be enough to charge a cell phone?
 

Kreij

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#3
That is cool. I think that it would take awhile to charge a dead cell phone given the output of such a small panel and the conversion efficiently, but it would probably be quite useful to keep a phone "topped off" when not in use.

I have a solar panel battery charger (about 1' x 3' panel) and it will charge a car battery but takes about a week. It works very well for keeping my ATV batteries maintained though.
 
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#4
Like anything, people will be interest in three things; output power, cost and reliability. If those are met, this would be a very good product.

I'm tired of replacing these name brand and no-name batteries these days. Seems that years ago things were not so green, BUT the batteries lasted much longer. Now, batteries do not last.
 
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#5
Researchers at Stanford University have created the world’s first flexible photovoltaic solar cells. The new solar kits can be applied to almost anything and the scientists demonstrated this by putting the solar cells on peel-and-stick film which can be applied to rough, smooth, flat or curved surfaces. Until now most solar cells were rigid, stiff and relatively heavy fixed structures mostly due to having to be applied to substrates like glass.

http://hexus.net/media/uploaded/2012/12/2f7793f6-4551-4ee8-ac95-9de57aa6c325.jpg

The scientific paper detailing the new peel-and-stick solar cells was published by Nature late last week and entitled Peel-and-Stick: Fabricating Thin Film Solar Cell on Universal Substrates. The paper describes how it is currently difficult to manufacture solar cells using anything other than rigid and heat tolerant silicon or glass based materials, however “Here, we report a new peel-and-stick process that circumvents these fabrication challenges by peeling off the fully fabricated TFSCs from the original Si wafer and attaching TFSCs to virtually any substrates regardless of materials, flatness and rigidness.” So manufacturing is done on a rigid, heat resistant surface and then the solar cells are peeled/transferred off.

Using the peel-and-stick process the researchers could apply solar cells to many different surfaces such as paper, plastics, mobile phones and room windows. Furthermore the surfaces where you apply the peel-and-stick cells to don’t have to be flat; “Now you can put them on helmets, cell phones, convex windows, portable electronic devices, curved roofs, clothing – virtually anything,” said Xiaolin Zheng, a Stanford assistant professor of mechanical engineering and senior author of the research paper.

http://hexus.net/media/uploaded/2012/12/370fefaf-0a93-4144-b376-d17b2442167d.jpg

Importantly none of this bending and shaping and added flexibility in the solar cells had an impact upon the original solar cell efficiency. It’s not a case of taking a step forward and then a step back. The peel-and-stick process is also frugal with resources “There's also no waste. The silicon wafer is typically undamaged and clean after removal of the solar cells, and can be reused,” explained Zheng.

http://hexus.net/ce/news/gadgets/49681-flexible-peel-and-stick-solar-cells-developed/
Just awesome panels.. I am looking to get cost effective solar panels for my home so I wil contact you soon
 
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