Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Scientists 3D Print New Solar Panels Which Work Best When Cloudy

ST Medical Devices

Share this Article

Solar panels are the future of energy, at least for those living in areas of the world where the majority of days are filled with bright sunshine, like Florida, Arizona, Egypt, etc. Until recently, if you lived in Seattle, or most of Britain, and Northern Europe, than solar power is not something to get all that excited about.

solar-2This week, British scientists at the National Physical Laboratory, created special solar panels which function best when it’s gloomy outside. That’s right, they produce more energy when clouds are blocking the sun, than when the sun is out in full force. In fact, scientists have shown that the new solar panels manage only 10% efficiency when placed in direct sunlight, while that number jumps to 13% when placed in cloudy conditions.

These solar cells, called organic photovoltaic, are unlike any other. They are made up of small organic molecules which act as semi conductors when struct with solar radiation. The amazing thing is that the molecules can easily be dissolved into a solution and 3D printed into any shape, size, or color desired.

Dr Fernando Castro, principal research scientists at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, said: Organic photovoltaics work much better in low and diffused light conditions. Even if it’s cloudy they still work. It’s not that they are going to produce more power but they are more efficient at generating power from the light that is available. So they would work better than normal soar cells do in cloud.solar-1

Initially scientists expect to see this technology used within electronics and perhaps even clothing, and as the technology progresses, it can eventually be used as a method to obtain energy for the grid. The material is much easier to install, can be customized via 3d printing, and is expected to be put to wide use within the next 5 years.

“Organic PV, which could offer greater efficiency in Britain’s gloomy skies, may appear less efficient based on standardized lab testing. For a long time this technology received little attention and limited push from investors. We would definitely be further on if people realized this earlier.” said Dr Castro.

There is still some work to be done to perfect this solar technology, in order to bring efficiency levels up enough to make them on par with traditional crystalline silicon based panels, but scientists are extremely optimistic about their future.  Discuss these 3D printed solar panels at 3DPrintboard.  Check out how easy it is to install a row of these organic PV solar cells:

Share this Article


Recent News

Middle East Deal Spreads 3D Printing Influence of China’s Farsoon

3D Printing News Briefs, January 20, 2022: Metals, Fiber Batteries, & More



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Featured

AMS 2022 3D Printing Event: Early Bird Registration Ends January 19th

In less than two months, Additive Manufacturing Strategies, the 3D printing summit co-hosted by 3DPrint.com and SmarTech Analysis, will return as a hybrid event March 1-3, 2022. While last year...

3D Printing News Briefs, January 12, 2022: Rebranding, Bioprinting, & More

First up in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, Particle3D has gone through a rebrand, and a team of researchers developed a way to 3D print and preserve tissues in below-freezing...

3D Printing News Briefs, January 8, 2021: Business, Doxing, 3D Printed Lights, & More

We’re starting with business in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, as RadTech announced new board members and Ziggzagg is investing in AM-Flow’s workflow automation technology. Cults3D was recently in hot...

Formlabs Launches Two New 3D Printers & ESD Resin at CES 2022

At last year’s CES 2021 event, top 3D printing company Formlabs released Castable Wax 40 Resin, the 30th material in its ever-growing library and the 12th in 2021 alone. Today, right...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.