Solar Energy Future Lies With Polymer Solar Cells

By: Jakob Jelling | Posted: 06th January 2010

If you are new to researching green energies you are going to be surprised at the variety of options available. While you will find a lot of information and products using traditional solar cells, polymer solar cells are the latest in solar energy technology studies and research.

Polymer solar cells are also referred to as plastic solar cells, and are types of organic cells. The future of these solar cells is assured because they are much less expensive and more disposable than traditional solar cells that are produced from silicon crystal and involve a complicated production process. At this point in time polymer solar cells are not produced commercially by many companies, mostly because their efficiency rate has been only as high as six percent.

Energy efficiency refers to the percentage of energy that is stored in a solar cell that can be converted into usable energy. At the rate that these cells are being researched, companies predict that they will reach the seven to ten percent efficiency rate they need to compete with the bigger solar cell producers within the next three years.

The size, weight and overall flexibility of these cells makes them ideal as energy sources for portable products like laptop battery chargers, and used in items such as umbrellas and tents. These solar energy sources can be derived solely from ink jet printers or photographic film manufacturing equipment. This means that a large supply of energy can be derived with low manufacturing costs.

While most of the plans are aiming towards using polymer solar cells with niche markets, improved efficiency and their unique ability to be spread very thinly will introduce them to unique markets. Currently research is also pointing to creating polymer solar cell sheets that can be installed easily against window panes and also produce an attractive tinting effect.

One drawback to plastic solar cells is their limited lifetime of a few years compared to conventional solar cells which last decades. The relative inexpensive cost of manufacturing and the less damaging effects on the environment when it comes to disposing of these cells can be used to counter this decreased life span.

Currently Denmark is the country leading the way into industrializing polymer solar cells. They have constructed solar panels with the newer technology and might just become the forefront polymer solar cell panel exporter. Universities within that country include the technology as part of their studies and have come across many of the new breakthroughs that are starting to make this energy resource feasible.

While we do have to wait a bit before we are going to start seeing these solar energy solutions in our clothes, on our cars and in stores as heating solutions for our homes, they are something any green thinking individual will want to keep an eye out for. Just thinking about the possible uses for a power source that travels easily will boost researchers and entrepreneurs into action.

Jakob Jelling runs which focuses on solar energy. Please visit his web site to learn more about polymer solar cells.About the Author
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Tags: drawback, point in time, relat, ink jet printers, niche markets, window panes, polymer, energy efficiency, solar cell, usable energy, umbrellas