and Technology Research Partners (Strep), a Dublin-based company, is
currently developing “spray-on” solar cells that can be painted onto a
roof and integrated electronically to generate energy. The company,
headed by University College Dublin and Cambridge University graduate
Dr. Mazhar Bari, is researching the technology based on titanium
dioxide, among other materials, and has recently moved the development
from a wet-state chemistry to a solid-state application.
Currently, the dye-sensitised spray-on cells are operating at an efficiency rate of 40% of regular silicon-based cells, but the ease and relatively lower cost of production of the flexible thin-film cells could potentially render the technology a runner in the industry. The aim is to reach a 10 per cent conversion rate at 10 per cent of the production cost of traditional solar cells.
“The technology in its current stage is a wet state. What I am doing is working on the solid state version. It is wet chemistry basically but I have found a way to make it solid state,” said Dr. Bari. “Right now, it is more screen printing but it will develop at some stage into a sprayable technology. It will be applied very much like paint.”
By Síle Mc Mahon