Million dollar merger to tackle energy crisis
CSIRO's Energy Centre and the University have signed a three-year agreement to fund and establish a new Joint Research Centre for Organic Photovoltaics in Newcastle.
The goal of the collaboration is to further develop solar cell technologies, based on polymer or plastic coatings that can be manufactured at extremely low cost using high-speed processes.
Professor Paul Dastoor from the University's Priority Research Centre for Organic Electronics said printed solar cell technology could be available in Australia in as little as three years.
"Existing solar cells rely on semi-conductive silicon which is brittle and not flexible. Organic photovoltaics (OPV) are solar cells made from plastic and are ideally suited to manufacturing processes like printing," he said.
"The potential application of OPV to domestic and industrial environments is extensive, and given organic materials are abundant in the environment, their use can avoid placing pressure on mineral resources."
The agreement further strengthens the links that already exist between the University's Priority Research Centre for Organic Electronics led by Professor Dastoor and CSIRO's Solar Group led by Dr Chris Fell.
By combining the skills and expertise of two successful research groups, the new Joint Research Centre aims to develop a sustainable solar energy technology that can be manufactured in the Hunter region. Dr Fell said that the collaboration was another clear example that the Hunter was becoming a hub for green technology.
CSIRO's research in organic photovoltaics is conducted as part of its National Research Flagships program, Future Manufacturing.
Photo opportunity: To organise a photograph or filmed footage of Professor Paul Dastoor and Dr Chris Fell with a photovoltaic solar cell, contact Megan Cunneen on the below details
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