August 26, 2008 A 23-year-old Australian PhD student has developed and patented a solar cell able to made using everyday items such as inkjet printers, nail polish and pizza ovens. Nicole Kuepper’s low-cost iJET cell is designed to provide renewable energy to those in developing nations.
The iJET solar cell uses solar technology that enables a low-cost inkjet printing process to create the cell. Currently the production of industry standard photovoltaic (PV) solar cells comes at a huge cost. The beauty of the iJet is that it can be made at room temperature and without high-tech environments or components. The idea is that it can be commercialized to provide some of the world’s poorest nations with energy, enabling citizens to light their homes.
Keupper’s design has been showered with accolades, taking out two top Australian science awards at the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes.
The School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering at the University of NSW where Kuepper studies was also awarded the Eureka Prize for innovative solutions to climate change.