Sun, Solar Energy and Saran Wrap… well, sort of!

July 5th, 2011: grist (an environmental news source) published an article about solar panels that are only 60 NANOMETERS thick! These soalr panels have the potential of making big strides for the solar energy world. If you are interested in learning more about this product and its implementation, take a moment to read the article below, courtesy of grist:

‘Cling-film’ solar panels are 1/200th the thickness of Saran Wrap

BY CHRISTOPHER MIMS

5 JUL 2011 12:11 PM

New ‘cling-film’ solar panels can be printed like newspapers, and then self-organize into layers of plastics that can turn sunlight into electricity. The result is a useful solar panel that’s only 60 nanometers thick — or 1/200th the thickness of saran wrap.

Using the same roll-to-roll printing techniques used to mass-manufacture dead tree media, scientists propose to print layers of plastics suffused with “buckyballs,” the soccer ball-like cages of carbon atoms whose discovery led to the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1996.

Manufacturers already print solar cells, sometimes called thin-film solar cells, but the race is on to make them more efficient, so they can be ever more cost-competitive with both traditional solar cells and fossil fuels. Ultra-efficient, ultra-thin solar cells will be able to cover large areas easily and affordably.