Wouldn’t it be neat if you could power a few gadgets around the house with some tastefully chosen, solar cell-embedded curtains? Alright, so this MIT-pioneered tech’s not quite that advanced yet, but it’s destined to have a Martha Stewart Living future. By eschewing liquids and high temperatures for gentler vapors kept below 120 degrees Celsius, researchers were able to cheaply print an array of photovoltaic cells on “ordinary untreated paper, cloth or plastic.” And here’s some additional food for thought — the vapor-deposition process used to create these cells is the same as the one that puts that “silvery lining in your bag of potato chips” — science, it’s everywhere. Despite the tech’s home furnishing friendly approach, this breakthrough printing technique can’t be done with your everyday inkjet, but it will make the cost of solar energy installations a bit cozier. Its flexible durability aside, the cells currently operate at only one percent efficiency — so you might want to buy those drapes in bulk to see a real bottom line kickback. Foldable paper video demonstration after the break.
MIT researchers revolutionize solar cell printing, fold the power of the sun into your everyday home (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 12 Jul 2011 23:54:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.