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got an inkjet printer? print solar cells

People are coming up with creative ways to lower the cost of solar cells through manufacturing efficiencies. Traditional crystalline based solar panels have an intensive manufacturing process which requires silicon to be grown and it quite a complex process which increases the cost per watt. Recently National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) has been investing in solar inkjet and sprayer systems, equipment which allows a manufacturer to print photovoltaic material right onto a substrate thus greatly reducing the cost and time it takes to produce solar cells. By inkjet technology I mean similar to inkjet printers, solar photovoltaic material can be deposited onto a substrate with minimal material usage and waste through use of a digitally controlled process. I’ve read some articles in the past about a university student that basically modified a standard inkjet printer to print very low efficiency solar cells that actually produced a small electrical charge! Obviously we are far away from being able to print solar cells in our own homes, but the concept can be revolutionary especially in the developing word. We could one day take an inkjet printer into an Afican village and print solar cells right at the point of use and change the lives of the billions of people who have no access to clean...

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Day4Energy starts production of 25% cheaper solar panels

Day4 Energy, a company based in Canada has improved their manufacturing technique which will introduce a new line of solar panels that will cost 25% less and have a greater output then previous models of solar panels. The company redesigned the solar cell structure and improved the electrodes, which increases the solar panel output to 17-18%, a significant improvement from their current output of 14.7 solar panel efficiency rating. Basically Day4 Energy was able to make the top layer of the solar panel thinner thus improving the amount of sun that can be converted into electricity and rearranged the solder points of the solar cells to areas which provide maximum sun exposure to each individual solar cell. This is a great sign for the industry as the manufacturers continue to innovate in their space and bring the costs down, which has a trickle effect down the entire supply chain in which the savings are passed down to you, the solar power shopper. We are looking forward to see the PTC ratings (an independent test, in outdoor real world conditions of the solar panels stated efficiency) These new solar panels are in production and will be on the market in 2009. What do you think about this type of manufacturer...

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