Subcontracts India is partnering a German company specializing in revolutionary printed solar technology that has the potential to fulfill the increasing energy needs. The manufacturing process is incredibly cost effective and scalable. The chief advantage of using solar inks is their low cost of production. Conventional silicon solar cells must be manufactured in airtight vacuum sealed chambers and dust free rooms which significantly drive up the cost of manufacturing. Since printed solar cells can be manufactured at atmospheric pressure and ambient temperature, not to mention the low cost of commercial ink jet printers, they are much cheaper to produce. The true potential lies in the thin outline, flexibility, freeform design, and scalability. Solar inks are typically comprised of metal salts suspended in a polymer fullerene blend. The ink may consist of a photoactive layer made up of p-type polymer and an n-type fullerene, a hole transport ink, and can be combined with a cathode and an anode suspended on a substrate. Since the system can be applied in layered coatings, it is possible to use existing ink jet printer technologies to print working solar cells onto plastic substrates.
In the past few decades, the fabrication of solar cells has been considered as one of the most promising ways to meet the increasing energy demands to support the development of modern society as well as to control the environmental pollution caused by the combustion of fossil fuels. A number of different types of solar cells, such as silicon solar cells (Si), Cu-based chalcogenides (Cu(In,Ga)Se2/Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4) thin film solar cells (TFSC), dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC), organic solar cells (OSC), and perovskite solar cells (PVSC), have been implemented in the photovoltaic technology. However, the high manufacturing costs of solar cells is one of the major obstacles for their wide-scale application. In this regard, inkjet printing has attracted tremendous interest in both academic research and industrial applications among all the various kinds of fabrication techniques and is believed to be one of the most promising methods to meet these requirements. The great advantages of inkjet printing are that the process is contactless, maskless and has a high material utilization rate, and good scalability, and compatibility of the roll-to-roll process. Additionally, the maskless nature of inkjet printing allows for freedom of design, which enables multi-functional properties of solar cells (i.e., power source and artwork) to be realized. In this review, the recent advances in inkjet printing with the deposition of different layers of various types of solar cells are summarized in detail and prospectives for the future development of printed/flexible solar cells are covered.
Over the coming months, we will be meeting many Indian solar as well as other technology companies and will be discussing the possibilities of a Joint Venture with the German company to manufacture these products in India. We present below a brief teaser of what is in the offing. Interested and capable parties are invited to send their Letters Of Interest to us for further discussions
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Question 1. Are these Printed Solar Modules good enough to be used for mega solar projects ? What kind of Module Mounting Structure (MMS) is required for these modules?
Answer : Of course, this printing technology is good for mega solar projects. It is also good for façade projects, as you can visually adapt the modules in any desired color to the building. It is also very good for niche markets. The design of the modules can be adapted to any mounting system as desired. It is also possible to produce modules which have any desired shape. For example, round, or oblique. Furthermore, It also does not have to be concerned about shadow formation. It can be built around a building modules, even if it is shaded.
Question 2. Once installed, what is the Operations and Maintenance cost for these Printed Modules? Do these need regular cleaning? What is the basic cleaning process for these printed solar modules?
Answer: It's the same as with conventional modules. It is just as possible to insert in a protective layer of glass, or laminates, which must be cleaned when dirty.
Question 3. What are the Safety Procedure to be followed once these Printed Modules are installed ? Are these printed solar modules fire resistant ?
Answer: No special prescribed safety procedure other than what is required for conventional module technology. Since these are printed on flexible plastic, fire will be a major concern. The print itself is fire resistant and heat resistant up to 120 degrees celsius. Depending on the application you have to choose a fireproof substrate as well as the topcoat.
Question 4. What is the wattage per square meter of surface area ?
Answer: This is approximately 200 Wp / m2
Question 5. What is the general Module size/Wattage of each module?
Answer: This can be adjusted according to market demand and customer requirements.
Question 6. If any part of the Module gets damaged, does it affect the entire module?
Answer: Damage only affects the part of the damage. the module continues to work unhindered by such partial damage.
Question 7. How good are the Warranties ? Does the company replace faulty modules?
Answer: Of course the company replaces defective modules. The guarantees will be custom made.
Question 8. What is the production capacity per printer?
Answer: A fully automated single production line creates a maximum of 7,000 square meters of printing area in three-shift operation.
Question 9. What is the tentative cost of a fully automated production line?
Answer: The cost of a fully automated production plant is around € 11 million. Added to this are the costs for the facility, personnel, upfront costs and labor costs. Overall, it is restricted to approximately € 15 million. This is absolutely sufficient for a reasonable start of production.
Question 10. What is the availability of the Ink used in the printers? Is there any supply constraint on the availability of these inks ?
Answer: There are no bottlenecks of fluids. These are available in sufficient quantities in any country at any time. It also contains no toxic or harmful materials.
Question 11. What is the availability of the Flexible base on which it is printed? Is there any supply constraint on the availability of this flexible material?
Answer: It is extremely flexible regarding which substrates are used. It can be glass, metals, plastics, foils, wood, marble, fabrics printed.
Question 12. How much time will it take to set up the production facility?
Answer: Once land and required capital is made available, the completion time is approximately 12 months.
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