We’re all going on a solar holiday….

By Simon Hunter

Our scientists are pretty passionate about their work. So much so that they don’t just take their work home with them – they take it on holiday.

Organic printed solar cell floating in the water.

Scientist Scott Watkins recently took this holiday snap of an organic printed solar cell floating in Callala Bay on the NSW south coast. He thought the cell deserved a treat after helping secure funding for a new, $87 million Australia-US partnership in solar cell research. The funding will be used to establish the US-Australia Institute for Advanced Photovoltaics (IAP). This centre will work on solar cells – those that convert sunlight directly into electricity.

The solar cell partnership is a parallel program to the solar thermal research partnership that we reported on back in December.

For CSIRO, our involvement in the IAP represents a great chance to continue our work on manufacturing thin-film solar cells while working alongside new colleagues with deep expertise in existing, silicon-based solar cells. Who knows where this research will take us next.

You can read more about our organic solar cell work on our website and keep up to date with all of our Flexible Electronics news on twitter @FlexElectronixx

4 Comments on “We’re all going on a solar holiday….”

  1. Martin says:

    Are the organic printed solar cells likely to used in ‘Integrated solar power systems” within homes and commercial buildings in the near future? By ‘integrated’ i am referring to solar panel technologies that lend themselves to integration as windows , roof tiling and the likes – rather than being an ‘add-on’ once the building has been constructed. With the emphasis on ‘Sustainable design” for new home construction, this surely has to be the next step for solar in Australia. I know companies like Suntech and the likes are looking at this approach. The nature of organic solar cells and particularly their structure would seem to lend itself to this type of product in the future. Keep us the great work CSIRO.

    • Sally Crossman says:

      Hi Martin,

      Thanks for your interest in our work. You are definitely correct in identifying building integrated applications as being an attractive use of our technology. BlueScope Steel is an important partner in the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium and they have a strong interest in developing the technology to integrate directly into their roofing materials. We are also in discussions with glass window manufacturers about similar ideas. We’re still a little way from actual products in these areas but we are working on it!

      The Solar@CSIRO team

      • Martin says:

        Thanks Sally. There are some U.S. based roofing tiles with integrated p.v. on the market but it would be fantastic to see an Australian designed product (preferably made here) on the market. Organic solar cells integrated into windows is such a logical move – looking forward to developments, hopefully not too far away for being commercially available in Australia.



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