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The development of new organic photovoltaic (PV) technology by Cambridge University could make the installation of solar cells easier and cheaper and even allow homeowners to generate alternative energy from their windows.

Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory and UK environmental group the Carbon Trust have jointly formed Eight19, a new company concentrating on the development of new organic solar PV technology. With organic solar PV technology, organic photovoltaics (OPV) operate differently from solar conductors on a principle similar to photosynthesis in plants.

The new solar panels will be developed on flexible transparent material which can easily be unrolled, allowing them to be used more simply and with more versatility. For example the transparent plastic sheeting could be fitted to windows in the home, as head of research and development at the Carbon Trust, Dr. Robert Trezona points out, this "would revolutionize the possible applications for solar technology.

"Because solar cells such as these can be produced at a much lower cost than current photovoltaic technology they could revolutionize the photovoltaic market by providing efficient and cheap alternative energy to developing countries where grid power is either unavailable or unreliable.  

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