This breakthrough “could lead to widespread adoption of solar power.”
Barr actually just finished his PhD in chemical engineering from MIT. His achievement was ”a pioneering approach to fabricating solar cells on a variety of everyday surfaces,” MIT reports. The hope is that this breakthrough “could lead to widespread adoption of solar power.”
Well, widespread adoption of solar power is on the way, but perhaps MIT means this could lead to it more quickly….
Now, Barr’s breakthrough may sound familiar to some of you — “Barr’s approach, which enables solar cells to be printed directly on common materials like paper and textiles, could reduce the cost of solar energy by eliminating the need for specialized installation,” MIT writes. Glenn covered this MIT solar printing project last July. Here’s a little more on the process from that post:
The MIT team indicates this technique marks a huge departure from the systems that have been used so far to create most solar cells. Traditional cell technology requires exposing the substrates to potentially damaging conditions, either in the form of liquids or high temperatures.
The new printing process uses vapors, not liquids, and temperatures less than 120 degrees Celsius, say the developers, adding: “These ‘gentle’ conditions make it possible to use ordinary untreated paper, cloth or plastic as the substrate on which the solar cells can be printed.”
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