New ‘printed’ batteries to transform Australian renewables

"Solar panels could soon be made with their own embedded battery storage in what is an Australian global first.

Batteries would be laminated to the back of the panels and deliver “in-built” storage, making it eventually standard for them to deliver energy day or night as required.

It’s one of several plans for ultra-thin, flexible screen-printed batteries that could eventuate within three years and offer new opportunities for manufacturing.

Currently companies such as Tesla and South Australia’s Redflow offer solar panel and battery solutions, but the batteries are separate entities. If this idea takes hold, printed-on storage could be part of an ordinary solar panel.

Because they can be printed in any shape, printed batteries could also power electronic skin treatment patches and other wearable technology.

The project is being undertaken by Printed Energy Pty Ltd, an investee company within the St Baker Energy Innovation Fund, in collaboration with two of Australia’s leading universities in the field of energy storage and materials science, the University of Queensland and the University of New South Wales."