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U of Vermont start-up uses thin film to create lighter, more efficient solar panels

A solar power start-up from the University of Vermont (UVM) aims to capture the sun’s rays much more efficiently than current systems.

Verde Technologies has developed a method to apply solar cells to a thin film that can be applied virtually anywhere, from rooftops to aircrafts. This would allow customers to harness more solar energy without taking up the large areas needed for traditional panels, which are generally large, rigid, and unwieldy.

According to Verde CEO Skyler Bagdon, the biggest hurdles to solar technology are supply-chain problems; the environmental cost of transporting heavy panels from China, where most solar panels are made; and installation, which he says accounts for 70% of solar’s cost.

“If we’re going to increase solar energy adoption, we need panels that are higher performing, easier to install, and can be manufactured domestically,” Bagdon says, adding that Verde’s thin-film panels are 10 times lighter than traditional panels and can be printed from a liquid ink at existing printing facilities, like those used for newspapers and drink labels.

“We believe that solar has the greatest potential of any renewable technology to offset oil as the primary way that we produce electricity,” Bagdon says. “One hour of solar energy hitting the Earth is enough to meet the world’s energy needs for an entire year.”

Source: VTDigger

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