Melbourne researchers have successfully created Australia's largest and most flexible solar cells, with the aid of a new printer located at CSIRO. The scientists are part of a collaboration between research and industry partners called the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium VICOSC. This was achieved through the collaboration between The University of Melbourne and the Bio21 Institute, CSIRO, Monash University and industry partners including Bluescope Steel and security printing firm Innovia Security. In just three years the consortium has gone from making cells the size of a fingernail, to cells 10 centimetres square.
They are now able to print organic photovoltaic cells the size of an A3 sheet of paper. The consortium is now leading the world in the ability to print solar cells and using different printing technologies, but this is the beginning of the story. We're still developing the technologies, still developing the materials to enable us to print in a number of different ways for different applications. The new printer can roll out 10 metres of solar cells per minute, which is equivalent to producing one cell every two seconds. Using semiconducting inks, the researchers print the cells.
Straight onto paperthin flexible plastic or steel. So what we're looking at is, how can we use this technology in the short term, how can we print solar cells to enable advertising, can we put solar cells on to advertising material in shopping centres to drive an active display. So if somebody wants to advertise something with nice flashing lights then at the moment they drive that with batteries. In the longer term we see these materials being able to be coated on to buildings, into windows and on roofs to provide.
Power in a wide variety of locations and circumstances. As part of the consortium, graduate students working alongside scientists are involved in training and development programs to improve the technology in the long term. We're now right up there with the rest of the people in the world but we've also got a facility which is different. We now have a process through our collaboration where we take things from the very very beginning, from designing materials, from making devices in the lab scale right through the large scale printing, which is very very unusual in the world context.
Printing Australias largest solar cells
Dr Scott Watkins We're really pleased to commission what is now Australia's largest facility for printing thin film solar cells. This equipment that has been purchased over the last few months and commissioned in our labs here in Melbourne will enable us to print A3 size solar cells. We've rapidly scaled up making our devices from fingernail size in the lab to A3 size devices that are fully printed now. And at this size we're definitely up there with the best in the world. In the short term we're looking for applications in consumer devices.
Printing Australias largest solar cells extended version
Dr Scott Watkins We're really pleased to commission what is now Australia's largest facility for printing thin film solar cells. This equipment that has been purchased over the last few months and commissioned in our labs here in Melbourne will enable us to print A3 size solar cells. We've rapidly scaled up making our devices from fingernails size in the lab to A3 size devices that are fully printed now. And at this size we're definitely up there with the best in the world. In the short term we're looking for applications in consumer devices.
And small integrated electronics. In the longer term we see these materials being able to be coated onto buildings, into windows and on roofs to provide power in a wide variety of locations and circumstances. Dr David Jones One of the advantages of the technology that we're developing is we're actually using off the shelf printers, printers you can go out and buy. And therefore we're using a screen printer, one that you would normally use in label manufacture or screen printing of tshirts or other things. So these are commercially available printers.
So the outcome of this will be prototype demonstrators that we can give to a number of people to examine what the capability of the new technology is. Dr YiBing Cheng I do see this project is a very good example of a collaboration involves both, involves the CSIRO, Monash University and Melbourne University. And that we have a very close collaboration with people working each others laboratory and we have regular meetings every two weeks. We do see that through this kind of collaboration and we can build up a critical mass and.
Why Teslas Powerwall Battery Is Amazing
All of humanity just won a really important victory in our battle to lower the CO2 emissions that are causing climate change. Tesla CEO Elon Musk introduced the world to the Powerwall, a wallmounted battery for your house which aims to accelerate our transition to clean solar and windpower. Before the powerwall, there was no way to store the energy generated from the panels that capture sunlight on our roofs. So during the day they could give you the power you needed, but at night, you had to rely on the grid, which gets most of its.
Electricity from coal, natural gas, and nuclear reactors. There had been some early home batteries out there, but nothing that was nearly this affordable. But Tesla, which has built thousands of large, lithiumion battery packs for its growing electric car business, was able to produce a similar battery for buildings at a scale that dropped the production costs dramatically. The lowest capacity model will cost just $3,000. And this is the first generation of the productbefore Tesla's even completed building its massive new Gigafactory, or any real competitors have entered the market, events that will surely push the price down.
Even further, while increasing the energy storage capacity of the Powerwall. Here's how it works. When the sun is out, solar panels will power your house and charge the Powerwall at the same time. And when the sun goes down, this charged battery will kick in to meet most or all of your electricity needs until the sun comes back up again the next morning. This is gamechanging. More and more people will go completely offgrid. Every building whether it's a home, office, business, warehouse, factory they can all.
Install solar panels and some Powerwalls and instantly see their fossil fuelgenerated electricity needs drop significantly. Not every building will be able to go completely solarpowered, but most will get pretty close, especially as our appliances become more and more energy efficient. And it gets even better. The powerwall will be connected to the Internet and the rest of the energy grid. Here in Southern California, and most other heavily populated places, the electricity company charges us a lot more when we use electricity during peak timethat's in the afternoon and early evening when the temperatures are warmest and most of us are.
Home and still awake. The Tesla battery is smart, and knows when electricity is cheapest, so that's when it will draw from the grid to charge itself. And then, during peak time when you need electricity, the battery will power the house. Sometimes, you'll be able to sell back unused power to the utility company during peak time to even make a profit. It's basically going to make each individual building its own power station. Overnight, Tesla seems less a futuristic car company, and more like the man who inspired the company's name, a revolutionary electricity engineer named Nikola.
Thanks for watching. If you liked this tutorial, help the conversation spread by hitting that thumbs up button. For TDC, I'm Bryce Plank. on the screen to watch more TDC, like our tutorial running down ten possible clean energy sources of the future or the ten fastest electric cars on the road. You can click to go back on our channel or take us up on our offer for a free audiobook of your choice from Audible, like the soontobereleased profile of Elon Musk. You have to put your credit card number in, but you get to try the service without charge for a whole month,.
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