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Printable solar cell technologies for smart buildings

Printable solar cell technologies. Photo: Valeria Azovskaya
Printable solar cell technologies. Photo: Valeria Azovskaya

New solar cell technologies offer possibilities for not only to enable completely new application areas but also for their production at affordable cost. From the perspective of smart buildings and modern architectural requirements, there seems to be a need for customizable photovoltaics technology, which could not only contribute for decentralized electricity production but could also be integrated into these modern buildings without compromising their aesthetics.  

Printable carbon-based perovskites solar cells (CPSC) and dye-sensitised solar cells (DSSCs) can be categorized as third generation of photovoltaics, which can be produced by utilizing low cost and abundantly available materials such as titanium dioxide or carbon nanoparticles. These materials can be deposited on conducting substrates via scalable and established printing methods such as screen-printing or inkjet printing technologies. Moreover, these solar cells also provide a possibility to be produced in clean room free production facility, which may contribute significantly in overall production costs.   

We started developing carbon-based printable perovskite solar cell technology (CPSCT) with the collaboration of Finnish industries in order to investigate the commercialization opportunity for this solar cell technology. The CPSCT looks very promising to be integrated into various building components such as facades or canopies without burdening the overall component costs.  

What is more attractive for commercial aspect is that the panels of this technology can be produced in a regular factory contrary to an expensive clean room-based production facility. The concept is achieved via installing clean room free prototyping lab at Aalto University where we successfully demonstrated the production of solar panels of various size (i.e. 10 x 10 cm2 to 20 x 20 cm2) with moderate efficiencies. The manufactured solar panels now work well at the laboratory prototype scale. Moreover, although not being a part of this project, we also developed some solar cells of DSSC technology for awareness purpose, which are also showcased in this exhibition. 

The prototypes introduced in this exhibition have been under further developments in order to convert them into futuristic building integrated solar solutions which cannot be achieved with traditional solar panels.  

Team: 

  • Dr. Syed Ghufran Hashmi, Department of Applied Physics, Aalto University 
  • Dr. Taina Lamminmäki, Department of Applied Physics, Aalto University 
  • Business Finland (funding) 

 

Contact:  

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