Solar company Konarka has announced that it successfully developed a new process to manufacture solar cells that could lead to a range of new solar-powered products and applications. The solar cells are made without silicon and are manufactured into a thin, light film via an inkjet printer, which means they don’t need to be born in a clean room like traditional silicon cells. One drawback to the new cells is their efficiency: while regular silicon solar cells achieve efficiencies of up to 20 percent, the new cells are only 5 percent efficient, but Konarka says they’re likely to be less expensive and much more dynamic. They can be incorporated into plastics and come in a range of different colors, including transparent.
Get Grist in Your Inbox
Insane cycling video will make you hold your breath for two minutes
Why it’s a big deal that half of the Great Lakes are still covered in ice
NFL player tackles sustainable beef off the field
Why you should be skeptical of Walmart’s cheap organic food
The brutally dishonest attacks on Showtime’s landmark climate series