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Printed Electronics World
Posted on May 2, 2008 by  & 

Revolutionary printed solar technology powers antarctic mission

Robert Swan OBE, polar explorer and the first person to walk to both the North and South Poles, has successfully demonstrated that solar power can provide an effective and reliable energy source, even in some of the world's most inhospitable and extreme environments.
The 'E-Base Goes Live' project saw Robert and his team spend more than two weeks in Antarctica, relying exclusively on solar power and other forms of renewable energy to meet their energy requirements.
Dye-Sensitised thin film solar cells reel to reel printed using an ink jet- like process by G24 Innovations (G24i) provided a significant portion of the electricity used during the trip. Despite poor weather conditions which saw little sunlight, the cells contributed to the energy that team members used for satellite, digital and video conferencing technologies throughout the expedition. The lightweight durable cells are silicon free and are unique in their ability to produce electricity in low light, at narrow angle of incidence of light and even indoor conditions.
Commenting, Robert Swan OBE, said, "Levels of sunlight in Antarctica are extremely poor so it is a huge endorsement of G24 Innovations' technology that we have had a constant supply of energy. It demonstrates how effective solar power can be. Renewable energy has a huge role to play in helping us combat climate change and we should all be looking at it, as we seek to do our bit."
Robert Hertzberg, Chairman of G24i, said, "Robert Swan is an internationally renowned explorer who has provided us with a great opportunity to test our technology in some of the most extreme and challenging environments in the world. Our solar cells are lightweight, durable and produce electricity even in low light conditions, so we knew that they would be ideal for the Antarctic mission. We are delighted that they have played their part in making the expedition a success."
G24i is the world's first company to produce commercial grade Dye-Sensitised Thin Film solar cells, a technology that's been in the laboratory stage for eighteen years. The company is developing a wide range of applications for its technology, including mobile telephones rechargers, portable electronics, clothing, tents, and building materials and is exploring how to make solar power a viable energy option for new geographies and regions around the world.
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