Solar Panels are a great solution for taking care of power needs without leaving any sort of pollution behind. Not to mention that once installed, they don’t incur any special costs either.
However, despite these benefits, it’s taking a considerable amount of effort to get the public interested in using solar panels for their homes.
A big reason for this is that the initial cost of the solar panels is still not cheap enough for them to be setup on a large scale.
Plus, in their current form factor, these panels are an eyesore that take up a large portion of the roof, making your house stand out despite your best efforts.
To make these panels cheaper and aesthetically appealing researchers from Aalto University have found a way of manufacturing them directly from printers.
This method involves printing a concentrated dye solution on a titanium oxide film, using an inkjet printer. The great thing about this is that you can print the panel with any design, including text and images.
What this means is that you can create paintings and photographs that are solar panels in themselves. Just place them in a place that has enough light, and they will constantly produce enough energy to be used in low power devices.
To prove the efficacy of this technology, the researchers put their prototypes through rigorous testing for over 2000 hours, and found that they maintained an energy efficiency of approximately 6.4%.
While this may not seem like enough, but when you think about the potential uses of this technology in terms of powering the dozens of small appliances lying around in your house, it’s still a big deal. We can’t wait for this to be put into mass production.