Today's Big Stories

How researchers use painted and printed plastic sheets to make solar energy

Researchers in Australia have raised the bar on innovative ways to produce renewable energy, using thin plastic sheets to generate solar power.

New Castle Professor, Paul Dastoor, explains that he and others at a university centre, focus on developing technology using organic electronics.

Dastoor says that solar cells are created using polymer or plastic materials that act as electrical semiconductors.

These materials can be dissolved as solutions, which means that we can print them. The thing that we print is a large electronic device. So, we can print solar panels, transistors and sensors. It's an incredibly exciting area to be working in.

Prof. Paul Dastoor, Director at The Priority Research Centre for Organic Electronics, University of Newcastle

He says that the materials are printed on two dimensional surfaces and hundreds of metres of solar cells can be printed daily.

Although the solar cells may not last as long as conventional solar panels, the electricity they produce is a significantly cheaper alternative (than even coal-fired power stations).

Listen to the full conversation from CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies:

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