Solving an energy crisis with printed solar

PROF PAUL DASTOOR: This installation is 200 square metres of printed solar cells. The first commercial installation of printed solar in Australia and to the best of our knowledge in the world. Many of our great ideas languish they don't make it to this stage but because we've got this really strong partnership between ourselves and CHEP, we're able to take this concept and turn it into a commercial reality. PHILLIP AUSTIN: Our key drivers for participating in this partnership are really just three: we love supporting Australian innovation; like any business, we want to lower our energy costs; and we're committed to reducing our carbon emissions. LACHLAN FEGGANS: What excites me about being involved in sustainability is basically creating a world that works designing a world that works.

And in order to do that you're not going to have all the ideas yourself you need to go out and look for those ideas. When I came across this printed solar panel with Professor Paul Dastoor's team I was just blown away, I thought if this works, this is going to be fantastic we need to see this in operation and we need to see it at scale and quickly. I think the fact that CHEP are involved here at the first commercial installation of this technology is enormously significant. I think what it says is that there are movers and shakers in the Australian industrial scene that are willing to back new innovation, new technology. The interesting thing about this is it's a really humble and unassuming technology and it's actually much like a pallet a pallet is very humble, but it's ubiquitous if people didn't have pallets, they would realise very quickly the importance of pallets. This technology is just like that it's humble, it's unassuming but it's doing work that's so important for the world.

Many people might ask 'why don't we see more of these technologies right there, right now?' well because it's really bloody hard to take it from small scale to large scale. It takes years and it takes the ability to produce large scale demonstrations like this to make that transition and so it takes brave and innovative companies to partner with universities to help take that step. AUSTIN: CHEP sees benefit in supporting new innovation fundamentally because it's in our DNA it's the way you make business better but I think any business that wants to grow, to innovate, to disrupt has to be seeking good ideas and a lot of those will come from the university sector. FEGGANS: One of the things that I've come to know about the university team is they're just the most inspirational problem-solvers there's nothing that they don't seem to be able to solve it's just this incubator of good ideas and of course you just want to be involved in that and they're really targeting some of the biggest problems the world's facing we need more renewable energy, we need it at a low cost and we need it quickly that's what this technology has the potential to deliver so, you know, it's exciting to see it happen and I just want to see more and more of it.

DASTOOR: It's so important and so exciting and I think it shows that actions here on the ground are occuring to try and tackle this energy crisis that we're in. AUSTIN: Look this really goes back to our roots we love being involved with the University of Newcastle as the university continues to innovate and increase the yield and lengthen the life, I can see this continuing to grow in terms of its impact..

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