[ExI] Inkjet printing could change the face of solar energy industry

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Thu Jun 30 18:57:11 UTC 2011

I hate to disagree with you twice in one day Jeff...

But NanoSolar has been in production with a continuous printing
process for a couple of years now. The high cost of solar
photovoltaics really isn't so much about the panels themselves, but
all the equipment to store and distribute the electricity thus
generated. The cost of batteries, inverters, and so forth swamps the
cost of the panels themselves in small scale applications (like MY
house). Nanosolar proposes to solve this problem by creating
neighborhood sized installations covering a few acres and serving a
few hundred homes. This gets the required economies of scale for the
parts of the system that are not the panels themselves.

I would get really excited if someone figured out how to make
inverters cheaper, or batteries. Working on the panels themselves is a

Here's the thing. If solar panels were absolutely 100% FREE, it
wouldn't come close to solving the problem. More than half of the
current costs are in the batteries and inverters.


On Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 4:08 PM, Jeff Davis <jrd1415 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Extropes.
> I have been waiting for this.
> The cost of first-generation single-crystal (and even amorphous)
> silicon photovoltaics has been way high.  (Gallium arsenide
> substantially worse,(I think)) But with no alternative to compare it
> to, I suspect people got used to the idea that PV is ***inherently***
> expensive, that that's just "the way it is."
> What I expected however, was that somewhere down the road we would get
> a PV technology that employs a printing process to make square
> kilometers of PV films on rolls at a vastly cheaper price.  There've
> been some promising candidates before now, but I'm thinking this may
> be the first generation real deal.
> "Engineers at Oregon State University have discovered a way for the
> first time to create successful “CIGS” solar devices with inkjet
> printing, in work that reduces raw material waste by 90 percent and
> will significantly lower the cost of producing solar energy cells with
> some very promising compounds.
> High performing, rapidly produced, ultra-low cost, thin film solar
> electronics should be possible, scientists said."
> Not just "low" cost, but "ultra-low" cost.  Love the sound of that.
> http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/06/inkjet-printing-could-change-face-of.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2Fadvancednano+%28nextbigfuture%29
> Best, Jeff Davis
> "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
>                                Ray Charles
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