Presentation Title

Design and Fabrication of Low-Cost Flexible Solar Cells using 3D Printing Technology

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Sagil James

Start Date

18-11-2017 12:30 PM

End Date

18-11-2017 1:30 PM

Location

BSC-Ursa Minor 89

Session

Poster 2

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

engineering_computer_science

Abstract

Today, most solar cell industries use crystalline silicon (c-Si) as the preferred photovoltaic material. While c-Si solar cells delivers efficiencies in the range of 15% to 25%, they have been very expensive in terms of manufacturing. Recently, thin-film solar cells (TFSC) made of simple and inexpensive materials are used as an alternative to c-Si solar cells. Even though TFSC have lower efficiency, they are mostly flexible, easier to handle and are less susceptible to damage compared to c-Si solar cells. TFSC is composed of thin layers of photovoltaic materials sandwiched between transparent conductive oxide and a back conductive contact. TFSC can be manufactured in small quantities using relatively inexpensive solution-phase techniques such as roll-to-roll processing and screen printing technology. However, scaling-up the TFSC manufacturing from small scale laboratory tests to large industrial production requires better and efficient manufacturing processes. This research project explores the possibility of using 3D printing technology to fabricate thin-film solar cells (TFSC) efficiently and rapidly. The study focusses on fabrication of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSC) which are one of the most common type of TFSC. In this project, three successive layers of TFSC are fabricated using a 3D printer at different thicknesses. The efficiencies of each cell are evaluated and compared for various combinations of raw materials. While the 3D printing process currently takes relatively longer duration for fabricating the TFSC cells compared to other processes, further research is being done to ensure an improved throughput. The results of this study would enable 3D printing towards rapid commercialization of TFSC technology because it is an excellent choice of indoor application as they perform better under diverse light condition.

Summary of research results to be presented

The abstract is modified as suggested by the reviewer. A new line is added to signify the time taken for fabricating TFSC using 3D printing technology.

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Nov 18th, 12:30 PM Nov 18th, 1:30 PM

Design and Fabrication of Low-Cost Flexible Solar Cells using 3D Printing Technology

BSC-Ursa Minor 89

Today, most solar cell industries use crystalline silicon (c-Si) as the preferred photovoltaic material. While c-Si solar cells delivers efficiencies in the range of 15% to 25%, they have been very expensive in terms of manufacturing. Recently, thin-film solar cells (TFSC) made of simple and inexpensive materials are used as an alternative to c-Si solar cells. Even though TFSC have lower efficiency, they are mostly flexible, easier to handle and are less susceptible to damage compared to c-Si solar cells. TFSC is composed of thin layers of photovoltaic materials sandwiched between transparent conductive oxide and a back conductive contact. TFSC can be manufactured in small quantities using relatively inexpensive solution-phase techniques such as roll-to-roll processing and screen printing technology. However, scaling-up the TFSC manufacturing from small scale laboratory tests to large industrial production requires better and efficient manufacturing processes. This research project explores the possibility of using 3D printing technology to fabricate thin-film solar cells (TFSC) efficiently and rapidly. The study focusses on fabrication of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSC) which are one of the most common type of TFSC. In this project, three successive layers of TFSC are fabricated using a 3D printer at different thicknesses. The efficiencies of each cell are evaluated and compared for various combinations of raw materials. While the 3D printing process currently takes relatively longer duration for fabricating the TFSC cells compared to other processes, further research is being done to ensure an improved throughput. The results of this study would enable 3D printing towards rapid commercialization of TFSC technology because it is an excellent choice of indoor application as they perform better under diverse light condition.