Nanotechnology brings flexible, printed solar power panels
Third-generation photovoltaics are thin, light and semitransparent and come in different colors. Furthermore, nanotechnology enables printing of flexible solar power panels with endless applications.
Less than a milimeter thick and weighing under 500 grams per square meter, flexible organic photovoltaic modules are the new generation of materials with wide applications, compatible with building materials. The size and design of the nanotechnology-based printed devices can be adapted and they can cover much larger surfaces than their static and heavy predecessors.
Organic Electronic Technologies or OET, which originated at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, is the only company in the sector in Greece and one of the few in the world. The third-generation photovoltaics are semitransparent and come in different colors.
The panels are mainly intended for façades but there are also other standardized products coming to the market. The printed photovoltaics can be bent and folded, so there are numerous possibilities.
The company points out the new technology is in compliance with developments in the European Union’s legislation aiming at the improvement of energy efficiency in buildings. Organic photovoltaic (OPV) solar cells can be used for covering greenhouses and they can be utilized in heating and cooling systems.
OET acknowledged the solutions are still costly but it expressed belief increased production would lead to a drop in prices. For now, flexible solar panels are available in pilot projects. The nanotechnology materials are recyclable.
The Municipality of Neapoli-Sykies in Thessaloniki just inaugurated the first smart bus stop with a dome equipped with the technology and chargers for mobile phones. A study is underway to examine the possibility to install more units.
The firm’s organic LEDs illuminate the space. Among the options are WiFi routers and displays for meteorological information and the transportation schedule.
The printed nanotechnology company also introduced solar panels for a shaded sunbed with a small fridge and for an autonomous portable refrigerator and freezer system.
In one project, OET fitted a solar power system on the roof of a Fiat car. OPV can be used on clothing to produce electricity or for warming.