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Next Green Breakthrough: Printable Solar Cells

A major milestone in green technology might be just around the corner. Printable solar cells, as simply and economically produced as printing a newspaper, may potentially turn any surface into a solar generator, bringing the advantages of low-cost renewable energy to any location on Earth from large cities to remote villages. This newest innovation revolves around cost-effective mass production of perovskite cells, which harvest light energy via a layer of microscopic crystals, each one is 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair.

These perovskite elements can be converted into a liquid form, which in turn can be printed onto plastic, glass, or other lightweight materials in a manner similar to inkjet printing. Experts predict flexible solar cells available on the retail market will extend the battery life of outdoor mobile devices, attached directly to the skin of laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Extending to the distant corners of the world, lightweight solar panels will exponentially expand the electrical supply grid, harnessing the most abundant, environmentally-friendly resource known.

The Future of Printable Solar Cells

This represents a game-changing alternative to rigid conventional solar panels, which are nearly 90% of current worldwide production and use thicker layers of silicon requiring lengthy manufacturing techniques, including purification via 1,000 degree Celsius temperatures and large quantities of hazardous chemicals. The energy required to produce a single silicon cell from the factory is already equivalent to roughly 10% of that unit’s lifetime electrical output. While printable perovskite cells have shown strong promise on the drawing board, a few technological hurdles still need to be cleared before they’re officially declared ready for use. One issue has been how to extract energy from the paper-thin cell via an electron selective layer (ESL).

The most effective ESLs are made from powdered materials which still require high-temperature processing, up to 500 degrees Celsius, far beyond the tolerance of the thinner base plastics. This may have been solved by recent studies at the University of Toronto, where researchers developed a method of creating the ESL via nanoparticles in a low-temperature liquid solution, with the addition of chlorine atoms to bind the layer to the perovskite electrode. Cells created via this new process reflected comparable performance to conventional cells over long-term testing. Lightweight perovskite cells can be installed alongside existing rigid silicon cells, dramatically increasing the output of a rooftop solar array. [1]

Backed by 40 Years of Expertise

We contribute our 40 years of design and manufacturing expertise spanning multiple diverse markets, and we look forward to discussing how we can deliver world-class products for OEMs across the globe. We understand our home India market, familiar with its vast regulatory and selling environments. We foster growth opportunities within India through our strong technology incubation ecosystem. We also assist global OEMs seeking to enter the India market by leveraging the local supply chain and favorable operating environments for cost reductions.

Our flagship Chennai location opened in 2006 and lies within a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for electronics manufacturing, offering economic incentives for imports and exports. This primary facility is within 90 minutes of the Chennai seaport and 20 minutes to the international airport, with additional road and rail, connectivity linking to the rest of India and beyond, as well as infrastructure advantages with faster import and export clearances. We also have labor force availability, both technical and manual, to rapidly scale to client demand.

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Syrma TechnologyNext Green Breakthrough: Printable Solar Cells

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