Danish research institute Riso National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Technical University of Denmark, recently demonstrated the first scaled application of polymer solar cells by integrating them into several electronic applications.
Riso says it demonstrated the polymer cells and product integration to show that these cells can be produced on existing screen-printing equipment – but also to illustrate that progress must be made before polymer solar cells can compete with silicon-based solar cells.
The 2.124 unencapsulated Riso cells, each with approximately 100 square centimeters of active area, were able to provide between 1.5 V and 3 V at 0.25-1.5 mA in full sun. The expected lifetime could range from several weeks to a few months, with an efficiency below 0.1%. However, this amount of power was sufficient to charge a 1.2 V NIMH battery that could run a small electronic gadget.
Riso produced the solar cells at Mekoprint A/S – a Danish printing company – on existing screen-printing equipment, from a polymer and process designed by Riso. The produced polymer solar cell is inferior to any other solar cell on the market, but the simplicity and potential for a low cost of production is promising, the researchers say.
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