The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

"Conductive Ink" Solar Panels Capture Sun Power for Soldiers

Scientists at the Air Force Research Laboratory Materials and Manufacturing Directorate (AFRL/RX), in a concerted effort with Plextronics Inc., and the Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization Center, both located in Pittsburgh, Pa., have developed a ready-to-use, cost-reducing technology that can capture sunlight and store it as energy to power Global Positioning System components, portable communications and other devices for U.S. soldiers.

According to 2nd Lt. Christopher A. Vaiana of the Directorate's Nonmetallic Materials Division, AFRL/RX provided guidance and funding to develop a special "conductive ink" that can be used to make printed organic photovoltaic solar cell panels on very thin, flexible surfaces using ink-jet printing. This new technology, called Plexcore, developed and manufactured by Plextronics, allows solar cells to form-fit soldiers' uniforms. It can also be used to print solar panels onto thin films in military tents, Lieutenant Vaiana said.

The agreement between AFRL/RX and the Commercialization Center includes the development of a technology roadmap identifying technologies AFRL/RX needs and is interested in funding. The Center is responsible for reporting these needs to industry and requesting proposals. Next, a team of personnel representing both organizations carefully examines the proposals and identifies those with the most promise to receive funding, Lieutenant Vaiana explained.

This agreement led to the program with Plextronics, whose primary focus is organic solar cell and organic light emitting diodes, and more specifically, the conductive inks and process technologies that enable such applications.

"Solar power and solid-state lighting offer substantial promise as approaches toward the development of practical alternative energy technology," Lieutenant Vaiana said. "Combined with the low-cost manufacturing methods of printed electronics, solar and solid-state lighting panels could become economical and environmentally compatible solutions to current day and future energy challenges.

"Military and commercial operations demand portable, highly efficient power sources. Using the power provided by natural sunlight via solar cells is an attractive option, yet has thus far been restricted by cost and size," Lieutenant Vaiana continued.

"Plextronics' new technology represents a significant step forward in printing inexpensive solar cells capable of powering a wide range of portable devices such as cell phones and radios. Key outcomes include lower costs and reduced logistical footprints for military operations across the battlefield environment," he added.

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

How India Goes Solar Could Change the World

Susan Kraemer, Correspondent Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposals for a draft National Renewable Energy Act raising renewable deploymen...

Listen Up: Questions You May Ask About Rooftop Solar

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World I’ve spent a lot of time over the past 15 years talking to homeowners about rooftop solar. More kitchen table chats a...

Changing Power Market Dynamics Open Up New Opportunities for STE

Frederick Redell There are two major tends driving the U.S. power sector. First, a large number of new technologies are becoming comme...

U.K. Plans to End Aid to Small-Scale Renewables in Blow to Solar

Alex Morales, Bloomberg The U.K. proposed to end an assistance program for small-scale renewable energy projects as part of a drive to cut th...

PRESS RELEASES

Array Technologies’ DuraTrack HZ v3 Continues to (R)evolutionize at SPI

Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI) prepares to showcase its recently launched tracking syst...

Appalachian's Energy Center assists counties with landfill gas to energy projects

The Appalachian Energy Center at Appalachian State University recently completed a proj...

Early Bird Registration Deadline for GRC Annual Meeting is This Week

The deadline for early-bird rates for registration for the biggest annual geothermal ev...

Redesigned HydroWorld.com Video Gallery

Hydropower news and information, and interesting promotional announcements are now avai...

FEATURED BLOGS

Transitioning to Net-Zero Living

Judith and Jeffrey adore living in Belfast, Maine – a quaint harbor town of Belfast, Maine. They previously res...

The True Cost of Electric Vehicles in Australia

In order to avoid increased congestion, further greenhouse warming and lessen Australia’s reliance on imported ...

The Coming Multi-trillion Dollar Energy Investment Drive

In coming years, a multi-trillion dollar low-emission energy investment drive will get underway. Three catalysts wil...

The Perfect Elevator Pitch

The elevator pitch is a concise statement that grabs attention and communicates value, ideally leading to a next step...

FINANCIAL NEWS

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

1-1/2 Day Photovoltaic System Fundamentals Workshop

Participants will learn how to assess the solar resources available at a...

Solar Power International 2015

International Energy and Sustainability Conference 2015

The fourth International Energy and Sustainability Conference will be he...

COMPANY BLOGS

The Perfect Elevator Pitch

The elevator pitch is a concise statement that grabs attention and commu...

3 Reasons To Follow-Up

It’s very important to begin nurturing your relationship with a cu...

We’re Going to Need a Bigger Team

When Hillary Clinton made her ambitious plan to install more than a half...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS