• Australia has roped in two local private firms to develop a technology that integrates printed solar panels into objects and structures
  • Norwood and Solafast will collaborate with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization to develop this technology

Australia’s Ministry of Industry, Innovation and Science has announced that the government is investing $1.6 million to create cheaper electricity systems with the use of printed solar cells. The focus currently is on developing the technology to integrate such solar cells into building roof products.

The technology sounds akin to Tesla’s recently revealed solar roofs with traditional crystalline solar cells integrated into a textured glass tile. But Australia wants to have flexible and printed solar cells do the job for roof integration and other structures. So it probably similar to the organic solar solar panels that are manufactured by German company Heliatek (OPV Touches New Heights)

Solar ink is printed on rolls of plastic film using industrial printing equipment to create thin, flexible and lightweight solar cells which can be integrated into objects and structures.

Two Australian companies, start-up Solafast from New South Wales and Norwood from Melbourne have joined hands with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) to develop this technology. Norwood is a printing company.

Minister Greg Hunt explained, “By supporting this project, the Turnbull Government is helping Australian industry take advantage of Australia’s commercial solar market, which is estimated to be worth $250 million a year.”

Australia has the world’s highest number of residential solar installations, but the administration wants to tap the commercial market as well. As of October 1, 2016, the installed solar power capacity for small scale PV was announced to stand at 5,156 MW.

Greg Hunt added, “If successful, the two-year project will help to slash the cost of solar PV and create an environmentally responsible building material that doesn’t compromise architectural integrity.”

The government is providing funding through the new Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Program under the CRC-Projects that supports industry-led collaborations between industry, researchers and community.