AISRF Project 2019-2022
New Barrier Encapsulation for Flexible Energy Storage and PV Devices
Australia-India Strategic Fund has brought together Indian and Australian CSIRO partners to develop and investigate ultra-high barrier (UHB) encapsulation for batteries and flexible solar cells.
Coupling flexible batteries with flexible solar cells offers exciting new opportunities to significantly expand uptake of clean energy production and storage. However, ultra-high barrier (UHB) encapsulation is needed to prevent deterioration of these devices on environmental exposure. Due to complex manufacturing processes, UHB materials are now the most expensive component of finished devices, so producing inexpensive, flexible, transparent UHB films is a key challenge for commercialising these two emerging technologies. This project aims to adopt a radically new barrier concept to develop low-cost UHB films and novel encapsulation techniques using roll-to-roll methods, creating a clear pathway from prototype to large-scale manufacturing.
The primary outcomes of this project will be the development of new flexible barrier materials and processing technologies for low-cost encapsulation of large-area flexible batteries and printed photovoltaic (PV) modules. Two types of low-cost barrier materials, namely, barrier encapsulant films and barrier edge-sealing materials are expected to be developed during this project.
This is a three-year-long collaboration project between CSIRO and the ‘Indian Institute of Science’ (IISc) in Bangalore, India. Our team at CSIRO will focus on the fabrication of large-area ultra-high barrier (UHB) materials using capabilities and facilities already developed over a decade of research on low-cost, industrially-viable, roll-to-roll (R2R) coating technologies, which have an exceedingly high potential to transfer easily from prototype to large-scale manufacturing. The team at the ‘Indian Institute of Science’ will focus on the development and preparation of new formulations for the R2R coating trials at CSIRO for the fabrication of large-area UHB materials. Both the teams will also focus on the fabrication of large-area UHB films using sheet-to- sheet deposition techniques (Graphene-based UHB films). The secondary outcome of this project will be to develop new encapsulation architectures suitable for the encapsulation of flexible batteries and printed solar cells. The next focus of this project will be conducting systematic long-term stability tests on encapsulated flexible batteries and PV devices under a range of environmental conditions. This will prove the long-term endurance and sustained the performance of the new UHB film products. Ultimately, this project will allow for the fabrication of flexible printed batteries which are integrated with printed solar panels. This affordable new product will have immense applications for remote communities in Australia, and for towns and villages in India do not have conventional power grid access.
Grant supported by: Australia-India Strategic Research Fund.