Electrek spoke with Derya Baran, assistant professor of fabric science and engineering on the King Abdullah College of Science and Expertise (KAUST) in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, about photo voltaic developments.

Baran’s work pushes boundaries within the photo voltaic sector, together with inventing inkjet-printed photo voltaic panels so light they can rest on a soap bubble and the creation of a two-sided, tandem solar cell. She was acknowledged by the MIT Expertise Assessment as a 2020 Innovator Under 35 within the MENA area.

We requested Baran what she sees as the highest 5 future photo voltaic developments. That is what she mentioned.

New supplies will push the boundaries of what photo voltaic panels can do

  • For years, silicon has been the dominant materials for photo voltaic panels, representing over 95% of the market. However new supplies, organics, perovskites, and built-in photovoltaic cells that mix completely different supplies are opening up new horizons by way of effectivity. For instance, two-sided solar cells that combine the best of perovskite and silicon technologies can collect gentle mirrored and scattered from the bottom.
  • These new supplies will push boundaries and permit improvement of recent areas the place silicon can’t be utilized. Natural photovoltaics will permit photo voltaic panels to maneuver off rooftops into different areas of a constructing, reminiscent of curtain partitions, roof tiles (like Tesla’s providing), skylights, facades, and railings.
  • These developments may also additional increase developments within the battery discipline.

Managed agricultural environments

  • We are going to see farmers use photo voltaic applied sciences for issues like internet detrimental power greenhouses. These might be made doable by will increase in effectivity but additionally by new supplies, like self-cooling greenhouses powered by solar energy.
  • One other instance might be sustainable desert agriculture, the place tech is used for cooling power. The idea of agrivoltaics, the place land is used collectively for meals manufacturing and power manufacturing by way of photo voltaic, will change into extra prevalent.

Web of Issues gadgets will change the dimensions of photo voltaic

  • Higher web connectivity by way of LTE/5G and advances within the Web of Issues will permit small and versatile photo voltaic gadgets that may energy every day electronics, create autonomous electronics, and even combine into diagnostics.


  • Photocatalysis is a course of the place water is break up into hydrogen and oxygen, an efficient technique for changing photo voltaic power or daylight into clear and renewable hydrogen gas. Developments in photo voltaic tech will facilitate the catalytic reactions wanted for water splitting, and “inexperienced hydrogen” might be of crucial significance for the battle towards local weather change, for issues like growing carbon-neutral fuels.

Photo voltaic charging stations for EVs

  • As electrical automobile adoption continues to extend, the charging infrastructure must develop with it. Photo voltaic-powered charging stations will benefit from developments in higher battery know-how and can assist refuel EVs with out straining the grid. (Electrek wrote about how Electrify America opened 30 photo voltaic EV charging stations earlier this month.)

About Derya Baran

Derya Baran is an assistant professor, materials science and engineering, at KAUST. Her analysis pursuits lie within the space of resolution processable natural/hybrid mushy supplies for digital gadgets. Such mushy semiconductor supplies possess a viable platform for printed, giant space, stretchable, and wearable electronics that can be utilized as photo voltaic cells, good home windows, OFETs, thermoelectrics, sensors, and bio-electronics.

She goals to increase the functions of resolution processable natural/hybrid semiconductors and to discover their limits in natural/hybrid thermoelectric gadgets and bio-electronics sooner or later.

Baran did her undergraduate work and earned a masters of science at Center East Technical College in Turkey, then acquired her PhD in materials science and engineering from Friedrich-Alexander College Erlangen-Nurnberg in Germany. She additionally did postdoctorate work on the Imperial Faculty of London.

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