Harnessing the sun to meet rising energy needs
Solar energy is a huge source of clean, sustainable power. Even a fraction of the sun's energy could power the world.
With global energy demands continuing to rise, a range of low-cost solar technologies will be crucial to meeting the energy needs of both the developed and developing world.
Printable solar cells that are flexible and lightweight
We're developing new materials and processes to produce thin, flexible and semi-transparent solar cells based on printable 'solar inks'. These inks are deposited onto flexible plastic films using a range of processes including, micro-gravure coating, slot-die coating and screen printing.
We've developed capabilities in both organic photovoltaics (OPV) and perovskite photovoltaics. These technologies differ in a number of ways from conventional silicon-based solar cells, offering:
- Greater flexibility: Being lightweight and flexible, solar panels can be integrated into windows, window furnishings, tents and even consumer packaging
- Portability: Our thin and lightweight solar can provide immediate power to cater to the energy needs for remote outback locations and developing communities.
This work has been carried out by the Victorian Organic Solar Cell (VICOSC) Consortium, a research collaboration between CSIRO, Monash University, the University of Melbourne, BlueScope Steel, Innovia Films, Innovia Security and Robert Bosch SEA. It has been supported by funding from the Victorian State Government and the Australian Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
We’re now working with industry to create local manufacturing opportunities.
Australian leaders in printed perovskite photovoltaics
By developing new materials and processes, we have achieved efficiencies of greater than 19 per cent on small-scale devices.
Our pilot-scale, roll-to-roll printing lines have successfully fabricated 30 centimetre wide flexible solar modules that can be cut to length. We are Australian leaders in the field of large area, printed perovskite photovoltaics.
We are focusing our technology on specific applications and can now produce pilot-scale quantities of solar film for incorporation into a wide range of prototypes.
The low barrier to entry of this technology means we can provide new opportunities for Australian manufacturing, creating new markets, value adding to existing markets and generating jobs.