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Directory:Plastic Solar Cells

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Dr. Jiwen Liu, a researcher in the Wake Forest University Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials, tests a new plastic solar cell in the center's laboratory in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. [1]
Dr. Jiwen Liu, a researcher in the Wake Forest University Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials, tests a new plastic solar cell in the center's laboratory in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. [1]

Technologies that use plastic in the process of harnessing solar energy, either as the solar cell itself or as a crucial infrastructure component.


Plastic Cell Technologies


  • Top 100 / Featured: Solar > PV > Plastic Solar Cells >
    Konarka's PowerPlastic Photovoltaic Solar - Konarka is an advanced R&D company, dedicated to the commercialization of power solutions based on a proprietary, solid-state, flexible, low-cost photovoltaics platform that can convert sunlight and even indoor light into electricity. (PESWiki; Sept. 8, 2008)

Other Companies/Innovations

  • Solar > Plastic Solar Cells >
    Cambridge University Produces Cheap Plastic Organic Solar Cell - The University of Cambridge has developed a low cost organic solar cell that has the potential to transform solar production. This new material is made of organic plastic and could be used on awnings, umbrellas and other plastic devices to generate energy. (Inhabitat; Sept. 17, 2010)
  • Plastics That Convert Light To Electricity - A research team at the University of Washington has found a way to make images of tiny bubbles and channels, roughly 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, inside plastic solar cells. These bubbles and channels form within the polymers as they are being created in a baking process, called annealing, that is used to improve the materials' performance. (Sceince Daily; Aug. 5, 2009)
  • Pushing Plastic Solar Cells - Plastic solar cells are lightweight, flexible, and, most important, cheap to make, but too inefficient to compete with silicon solar cells for most applications -- until now? (MIT Technology Review; April 30, 2009)
  • Toward the next generation of high-efficiency plastic solar cells - Researchers in the United States and Austria, including Nobel Prize winner, Alan J. Heeger, report an advance toward the next generation of plastic solar cells, which are widely heralded as a low cost, environmentally-friendly alternative to inorganic solar cells for meeting rising energy demands. (PhysOrg; Mar. 17, 2008)
  • Inexpensive, Easy To Produce Solar Panels - Researchers at NJIT have developed an inexpensive solar cell that can be painted or printed on flexible plastic sheets. Someday homeowners may be able to print sheets of them with inexpensive home-based inkjet printers. Consumers could then slap the finished product on a wall, roof or billboard to create their own power stations. (The Energy Blog; Jul. 19, 2007)
  • Record Efficiency for Plastic Solar Cells - Researchers at UCSB along with counterparts in South Korea have discovered a new way to make cheap and flexible photovoltaic cells that involves a process for printing plastic solar cells. They have achieved an efficiency of 6.5 percent--a new record plastic PVs. (MIT Technology Review; July 13, 2007)
  • New Plastic Solar Cell Breaks Efficiency Record - Researchers at Wake Forest University's Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials have announced that they have pushed the efficiency of plastic solar cells to more than 6 percent by creating "nano-filaments" within light absorbing plastic, similar to the veins in tree leaves. (Science Daily; Apr. 19, 2007)
  • Directory:Paintable plastic solar cells using quantum dots - Paintable plastic solar cells that can harness the sun's invisible, infrared rays, and could deliver up to five times the power of the most advanced photovoltaic cells today. Combines specially-designed minute particles called quantum dots, three to four nanometers across, with a polymer to make a plastic that can detect energy in the infrared.
  • Ultra Cheap Solar Development by STMicroelectronics - European chip maker is working on solar cell process that uses plastic substrate instead of silicon. "Over a typical 20-year life span of a solar cell, a single produced watt should cost as little as $0.20, compared with the current $4, competing even with fossil fuel cost of $0.40. (CNN; Oct. 2, 2003)

Plastic Used

  • XsunX Developing Solar Film for Buildings' Windows - See-through thin film plastic Power Glass™ integrates solar collection capabilities in a cost-comparable substrate to existing film products, taking energy gain into consideration. (PESN; June 9, 2005)
  • Plastics Change Shape and Emit Energy - The shape changers are a new family of photosensitive plastics materials that have shape-memory by having light shined on them or by heat exposure. Plastic materials can return to their original form when hit with a blast of ultraviolet light. (Jobwerx; April 14, 2005) [Konarka among those looking at this technology.]

See also

  • Directory:Thin Film Solar (separate index at PESWiki) - Thin layer metal alloy converts light into energy at a fraction of the cost of silicon. Roll-printed cells are lightweight and flexible. They can be integrated into consumer products like cell phones, tents and roof tiles.





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