Wednesday 19 February 2020

New tech ‘could turn any surface into a solar panel’

New tech ‘could turn any surface into a solar panel’

Researchers at the University of Queensland claim to have developed an innovative new solar technology that could turn any flat surface into a solar panel.

The team says it has worked out how to suspend tiny particles called 'quantum dots' in a 3D-printable material, which can then be applied to any surface.

The particles are able to pass electrons between each other and generate electrical current, allowing them to act as a solar cell.

They have been used to reach an efficiency rate of around 16.6% - this is lower than what can be achieved with standard solar panels, although the material offers a range of other benefits.

For example, the material can be easily and cheaply printed and its flexibility means it can be used for a variety of purposes in which a typical flat solar panel would not be suitable.

The 'quantum dots' are also able to produce relatively high outputs in lower light conditions, meaning even if the sun is covered by clouds, significant amounts of energy can still be generated

Researchers say scaling up the technology to a commercially viable model is expected to take between three to five years.

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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