A decal-like application process allows thin, flexible solar panels to be applied to virtually any surface from business cards to roofs to window panes, reports Glen Martin at Stanford Engineering. Up til now, solar cells have frustrated scientists in one crucial regard – most are rigid. They must be deployed in stiff and often heavy fixed panels, limiting their applications. So researchers have been trying to get photovoltaics to loosen up. The ideal: flexible, decal-like solar panels that can be peeled off like band-aids and stuck to virtually any surface, from papers to window panes. Now the ideal is real. Stanford researchers have succeeded in developing the world’s first peel-and-stick thin-film solar cells, described recently in the Scientific Reports website of the journal Nature. The new process involves a unique silicon wafer sandwich, upon which solar cells are deposited. Ultimately a dip in water and heating allowed researchers to attach thin-film solar cells to paper, plastic and window glass, for example, freeing the wafer for re-use. “we didn’t lose any of the original cell efficiency,” added senior Stanford researcher Xiaolin Zheng. Imagine – solar powered cell phones! Now that’s really smart!
Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. This is how YOU can make a difference.
***** Becky Tarbotton, head of Rainforest Action Network Dies – Time to Pick Up Her Banner http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddwoody/2012/12/29/environmental-leader-rebecca-tarbotton-dies-at-age-39/ She produced real change: see her inspiring October speech to understand what we lost, but get more inspired to address climate change. Becky would have liked that…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAcAlxn-mCk