Princeton researchers have found a simple and economical way to nearly triple the efficiency of organic solar cells, the cheap and flexible plastic devices that many scientists believe could be the future of solar power.
Power-in-a-Box (TM) is an easily deployable standard shipping container outfitted with solar panels and a telescoping wind turbine for generating electricity in remote or disaster-torn regions.
By producing plastics that are translucent, malleable and able to conduct electricity, researchers have opened the door to broader use of the materials in a wide range of electrical devices.
Solar panels that are slated to be installed this fall on the roof of Princeton's Engineering Quadrangle will shave only about $60 off the University's monthly electricity bill. But the technology that emerges from this unique industry-academia research collaboration may eventually save New Jersey households millions of dollars in energy costs.