Researchers at MATERIALS, the Institute for Surface Technologies and Photonics at JOANNEUM RESEARCH, are developing new solar cells that generate up to 50 percent more energy efficiently than conventional solar cells.

Anyone building a house has to deal with regulations, including the EU directive on the overall energy efficiency of buildings. This directive aims to reduce the energy consumption of houses and states that more energy should be used from renewable sources. From 31.12.2020 this will also apply to private buildings. This is where our experts come in and develop sustainable new solar cells for the future. Not only will they generate more electricity, they will also make electricity cheaper for end consumers at lower production costs. This new photovoltaic technology promises significant savings potential in terms of resource consumption compared with the products currently in use.

The technical physicist and expert in optical technologies, project manager Roman Trattnig, on the challenge: “The production of solar cells must be of high quality, efficient and inexpensive in order to finally produce more power. This is what we do at our site in Weiz. We apply the contacts in narrow structures under 100 micrometers (= 0.1 millimeters) with the inkjet printer and then fuse them by laser so that the nanoparticles combine to form a well-conducting metallic contact.”