How about printing your own solar cells?

3D printing offers lots of different possibilities, and now it looks like it could help us capture solar energy as well. Australian researchers have announced their success in printing flexible solar cells directly onto building materials such as roofs or windows, thereby paving the way for lower construction costs compared with standard solar panels. This idea could also lead to an architectural revolution, as the cells can be directly built into materials by using organic semiconducting polymers, which then dissolve.”Smartphone and tablet covers or laptop sleeves could soon be collecting energy.”Available to everyone, and in the near future?This invention, developed by engineers, chemists and physicists, at the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium (VICOSC), shows greatest potential as a way of recharging the low-energy devices that we use every day. “Smartphone and tablet covers or laptop sleeves won’t just protect your electronic devices, they’ll also be able to collect energy,” explained Fiona Scholes – one of the scientists involved in the project – to ABC News. The cells will effectively be integrated into these protective accessories.Using commercial printers, the scientists have also shown it could soon be possible to market the process for the general public – and we shouldn’t have too long to wait either: “Just a few years away,” according to Fiona. So printing solar cells could soon be as easy as printing banknotes!To go furtherOnly three per cent battery left? No need to panic!Printable A3-sized solar cells new milestone in green energy

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