• Aurora

    Technology development for the global distributed manufacturing of low-cost high efficiency solar panels

Project lead





The project aims to develop innovative solar panel technology for globally distributed manufacturing of low-cost, efficient solar panels. Techniques for low-cost, high-throughput manufacturing based on rotary printing will be combined with the use of advanced materials known as Perovskites.

The panels will be competitive with the traditional rigid and heavy silicon panels. They can be made on light and flexible plastic substrates, can be customised as desired and, if necessary, can also be produced in a semi-transparent version. This will facilitate the integration of solar panels in everyday objects, thus facilitating distributed energy production.

Given the simplicity of the manufacturing processes, the panels will not only be economical for small production volumes, but the factories themselves will be inexpensive and with a small footprint. The peculiarities of the new solar technology proposed make possible the implementation of an innovative business model in the solar market: the product offered will no longer be the "solar module" but rather a "factory of modules" that can be cheap, close to the site of application and will operate using a just-in-time system, allowing for savings in capital and operating costs.

The customer will be provided with a complete solution that includes printing machinery, production materials, training and support.



Regional Impact

The project will establish an advanced R&D centre in Lombardy having the ambition to achieve a leading position in the industry. This will attract capital and international expertise, providing employment opportunities to highly qualified personnel trained by the Lombard universities, and will generate a highly specialised supply chain in the areas of ink chemicals and printer design.

The centre will constitute a cutting-edge "cluster" for technologies based on Perovskites, not only for the development of solar plants but more generally for the printed electronics industry. The project revolutionises production compared to other technologies on the market that require expensive and specialised equipment that is not compatible with local production. In such cases low costs are possible only through standardised, large-scale production, as currently represented by government-subsidised Chinese factories.

S3 Impact

Printing processes and the development of inks are strategic for printed electronics and third generation photovoltaics. The manufacture of multilayer solar devices through the deposit of functional inks using printing techniques constitutes a complex and important know-how for competitiveness in the sector.

Specialisation Area


go to top