New technology could be a boon for solar energy

September 3, 2013 0 By Angie Bergenson

Researchers find a way to make solar energy less expensive and more accessible

When it comes to solar energy, or any form of renewable power, cost is often a major challenge that must be overcome. For years, the costs associated with solar energy often make this form of clean power relatively unattractive for some consumers and businesses. Researchers around the world have been working to address this issue and help lower the cost of solar energy for some time. A team from the University of Alberta may have finally accomplished this feat.

Nanoparticle-based solar cells could be a major breakthrough for solar energy

The research team has developed an inexpensive way to manufacture nanoparticle-based solar cells. These solar cells are manufactured through the use of common materials, which make them somewhat more affordable than their conventional counterparts. While the cost of these solar cells is a major point of interest, the method through which these solar cells are applied may be more noteworthy. The research team has successfully demonstrated that their solar cells can be applied through basic roll-to-roll printing or spray-coating.

University of Alberta - Solar Energy ResearchSpray-on solar cells could be applied to nearly any surface

These so called spray-on solar cells could be a major boon for solar energy. Spray-on solar cells could be applied to nearly any surface, turning these surfaces into solar energy systems, as long as they have the necessary electronic components. Currently, the team from the University of Alberta is testing the efficiency of these spray-on solar cells by applying them to larger solar cells.

Grid-free communities could benefit from solar energy

Researchers suggest that the spray-on solar cells could be a benefit to the various communities around the world that currently exist independent of any established energy grid. Some of these communities are beginning to demand electrical power, which could be supplied to them through the use of solar energy systems. Researchers note that the breakthroughs being made in solar technology could make solar energy more accessible to these communities and anyone interested in renewable energy around the world.