Inkjets ? The Future Of Solar Energy

Just like an inkjet printer squirts ink onto paper when you print something out, scientists think there’s no reason why they can’t be used to print silicon – which is fundamental to the creation of solar panels, TechNewsDaily reports.

In fact, using inkjet technology to make solar panels could mean a new generation of thinner, and more productive, cells is created.

Because inkjet technology is contact-less – the printer does not touch paper when it prints out – is also a good thing.

It is thought inkjets could eventually replace the current way to manufacture solar cells – screen printing, which is becoming outmoded.

"Inkjet is very good at putting down patterned material – anything that has a specific layout," Maikel van Hest, a scientist at the National Centre for Photovoltaics at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the US, told the website’s Adam Hadhazy.

Recently, a discussion on book publishing, hosted by Kodak, pinpointed inkjets as a way to drive down costs in the industry.