Did you know working solar panels can be printed with a common ink-jet printer? This super high-tech process has recently been introduced commercially and has the promise to radically redefine not only what a solar panel costs but how it can be used.
Essentially the new process replaces ink with an electron conducting material that is printed onto thin sheets of plastic rather than paper.
The price break for this emergent technology is still at the level of large commercial runs. But even this should drive down the cost of existent solar as well as inspire a new generation of products integrating the lightweight nature of the new cells.
Solar vehicles covered with lightweight solar cells could off set a large portion of their energy usage. Large buildings and walls could be covered with solar panels- helping also to lower the temperature of the cities by converting sunlight to power rather than heat.
The day should not be far off when you can use your home printer to whip up a batch of solar panels for your house and stick them on the roof to power your air-conditioner (as well as shade the house).
Now wouldn’t that be nice?