Imagine buying a roll of solar cells and slapping it on a wall or window to collect energy. What a fantastic invention this could turn out to be, if it works as well as they’re hoping! We’ll probably have to wait a few years before they’re sold commercially, but the possibilities are pretty enticing. On a somewhat-related note, in a couple of months Australia will be the first country to get the new Tesla Powerwall, which also looks pretty amazing. Yay for science and stuff!
Australian solar power experts making up the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium have developed and begun to market solar cells that are created with a 3D printer. The group, consisting of scientists from the CSIRO, the University of Melbourne and Monash University have been working on the technology for over seven years and have figured out a way to cheaply print the panels onto plastic, including smart-phones and laptops, enabling self charging electronics. They are also able to print directly on to walls and windows using an opaque solar film and claim that they can line a skyscraper with panels, making it totally electrically self sufficient.