A Better Way To Manufacture Flexible Solar Cells

A Better Way To Manufacture Flexible Solar Cells

Researchers create technique for making flexible solar cells.

Imagine newsprint speeding through a printing press. That's how researchers at the University of Delaware's Institute of Energy Conversion (IEC) are describing a new technology they have developed for manufacturing flexible solar cells. This advance, they say, has the potential to reduce the costs associated with photovoltaic energy and expand potential applications.

The system allows the manufacture of long sheets of flexible solar cells that also could be encapsulated into a traditional rigid structure. The flexibility, explains IEC scientist Erten Eser, allows the solar cells to conform to different surfaces, "particularly important for roofing applications for building integration, and for airships and balloons."

Associate scientist Erten Eser, left, and research associate Shannon Fields check a solar panel made at the University of Delaware's Institute of Energy Conversion.
The solar cell sheets are created by depositing copper-indium-gallium-deselinide on a 10-inch-wide polymer web, which is then processed into flexible solar cells.

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