[CEATEC 2014] While the use of solar panels does benefit the environment in a variety of ways, it is worth noting that there is always a better way of getting things done. In this particular case, the engineers over at Aikin Seiki (the very same people who delivered the robotic wheelchair as well as a sleep monitoring system) have come up with a way to inject some color into solar panels – which could result in far reaching implications where future solar panel design is concerned. I am referring to pigment-based solar cells, and as with many an advancement in the field of science and technology, nature proved to be the inspirational catalyst for this particular idea.
The pigment-based solar cells were inspired by plant photosynthesis, as the development concept saw the clever use of light-sensitive pigments in order to generate electricity. The artificial pigments will function in a manner that is not too different from that of the way plants make use of chlorophyll when it comes to the photosynthesis process, although this version by Aikin Seiki would generate electricity instead.
In fact, with this brand new development, a wide variety of colors can be used, and even better news is the fact that these solar cells can be printed. In other words, we could eventually see solar cells that arrive in a variety of color, not to mention being in virtually any shape. Heck, these cells are even capable of working in low light conditions, not to mention sporting a more environmentally friendly manufacturing process without having to cost too much. Hopefully the yield will be reasonable enough to commence a mass market manufacturing process.