plastic solar cells = lower cost per watt
Organic solar cells are translucent, flexible, lightweight and cost less to manufacturer compared to silicon based solar cells because they are composed of a plastic material. Solar panels have not reached grid parity (a cost competitive to fossil fuel based energy) and that’s the primary reason people are excited about organic solar cells.
According to Solarmer Energy, the leading developer of organic solar cells, they have independently verified their plastic solar cell was able to reach an efficiency of 6.31% and will be presenting their technology at organic photovoltaics 2009 a conference which focuses on plastic based solar cells.
Plastic based solar cells can also improve building integrated photovoltaics a term that describes embedding solar cells into existing building materials. The picture above highlights how plastic based solar cells can be infused into an awning that has a dual purpose of providing shade yet collecting electricity simultaneously.
Do you think organic solar cells expand the solar power horizon? Will the technology be able to reach efficiencies and cost reduction in which the cost per watt will be competitive to subsidized fossil fuel based energy?