It’s remarkable to think that not so long ago solar-generated electricity was considered almost science-fiction due to the impracticality of its cost and implementation. Today, the technology has advanced so far that the cost of solar cells and photovoltaics (the method of generating electrical power by converting solar radiation into electricity) is comparable with that of traditional electricity.

One of the latest developments in this industry comes from an Oxford University spin-off, Oxford Photovoltaics. The company prints nontoxic, organic solar cells onto glass of just about any color. This means that builders of large commercial buildings now have more attractive options if they want to use solar cells in the actual facade of their buildings.

Instead of adding photovoltaics to the roof, the buildings themselves can be made of photovoltaics and the entire structure can generate solar power. Plus, these new cells are thinner, more cost efficient, and are made from less expensive and renewable materials.

Oxford Photovoltaics is currently celebrating a recent funding boost of $2.7 million. The investment will go towards a new facility, as well as hiring new staff and buying more equipment. They say they expect to have full size panels available for sampling and trials by the end of 2014.

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Category: Technology