Paper-thin solar cells create any place an energy powerhouse.
Imagination has that power that has led primitive humans with an animal skin as clothes and stones as weapons to a tech world where the internet has become their most potent weapon. One’s imagination and power of thinking can make anything possible. That’s why this saying persists that nothing is impossible.
Similarly, to make this correct quote, humans have always tended to create remarkable inventions whose niche was once a disadvantage of a whole system. To persist and make our life on earth eco-friendly, people are finding ways to enhance living using clean energy and to do this, they have opted for solar energy ( solar cells ).
Which is completely free and is given to us in an enormous amount daily. But the problem of setting the solar panels which can convert this sunlight to energy had a huge drawback.
Which was there taking up colossal land space and area for the installation. With more open space, these panels can get more enhanced performance. And additionally, these panels are too heavy even to get lifted.
So what if I say that now even a 5 yrs kid can lift these panels through only by their two fingers?
You may be wondering how this is possible. But let me tell you it’s likely because MIT’s brilliant minds have created these “Paper-thin solar cells”, which are much smaller and lighter than the previous ones with better function.
Let’s take a look.
What are paper-thin solar cells?
These solar cells are the outcome of the hard work of researchers. They are measured in microns and can generate up to 730 watts per kilogram.
This is a more sustainable method towards photovoltaics done by researchers at MIT.
They generated this ultralight solar cell that can convert any surface into a power source easily and quickly.
Researchers have used nanomaterials to produce these solar cells in the form of printable electronic inks. Then to deposit this electronic material on the prepared and releasable substrate, they are coated with slot-die coater.
After this, an electrode is deposited over the structure using screen printing, which finally formulates these Paper-thin solar cells.
What are the commendable features of these paper-thin solar cells?
- These solar cells are much more durable and flexible than all those manufactured and designed.
- These cells are much thinner than a human hair.
- These are even lightweight compared to the other PV Cells as they are one-hundredth the weight of conventional solar panels.
- These can even be laminated on other sources, and a new powerhouse can be generated easily and quickly.
- These cells are capable enough of generating power 18 times more energy per kilogram.
Initially, when these cells were generated, the major problem caused was due to them being too thin in size; they were easily tearable.
Which was a significant issue in transporting them from one surface to another. That may be while peeling them out from one character can lead them to get torn, making the panels dysfunctional.
To tackle these problems, researchers opted for a new material that can be as thin as the previous material but with high mechanical strength.
This resulted in them being used. Dyneema fabric is used to deploy solar cells. Which ultimately resolved their problem by forming ultra-light, mechanically robust solar cells. (solar panels)
Test and results of paper-thin solar cells.
When researchers tested these solar cells, they could generate power of 730 watts per kg while freestanding. And about 370 watts per kg of power from the cells deployed with Dyneema for mechanical strengths. That is 18 times more energy production than the normal conventional solar cells.
From this test result, researchers plan to remove as many non-solar areas from the model as possible to enhance its working strength, structure and capacity.
Even the researchers tested their durability by rolling and unrolling them more than 500 times. And still, the cells retain their power-generating capacity by more than 90%.
But these cells need to be packaged appropriately from environmental factors like moisture and oxygen, which can create changes in the system’s configuration, leading to disturbance in the solar cell and a deterioration in performance.
Researchers are working on these minor shortcomings of paper-thin solar cells so they can be pulled into the market platform for people’s use. (solar power)
Advantages of these Paper-thin solar cells.
There is a specific list of advantages leading researchers to make it a potential revolution in solar technology.
- These cells can be easily transported and used as per their size and can roll without disturbing them.
- They can be used in areas of emergency for energy supply and even places where no electricity is present.
- They can even be used to enhance the function of equipment by putting these on their surface to enhance the power supply.
- And most importantly, they can save much needed land space.
Well, it is not a shock that these technologies are emerging as they are needed for humans to survive. Because as time passes, surroundings and needs change. This includes us, too, so let’s change and accept more clean energy through these eco-friendly energy sources. For now, it’s paper-thin solar cells for solar technology lovers.