A FIRM working to produce wafer thin technology that could turn normal household windows into solar panels has established a research base in the North-East.

Polysolar has opened the research and development office at NETPark, near Sedgefield, to enable it to work with the Printable Electronics Technology Centre (Petec).

Petec is developing technology that removes the need for masses of wiring, instead allowing circuits to be printed onto a film no thicker than a sheet of paper.

The aim of the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) managed facility is to commercialise such technology, taking it from theory into real world products.

Cambridge headquartered Polysolar is also working in collaboration with UK glass company Pilkington and Belgian chemicals company, Solvay on its plans to manufacture the transparent photovoltaic (pv) glazing.

The aim is to develop technology that would allow pv technology to be inserted into normal household and office windows as an unobtrusive source of electricity generation.

At present normal glass has a tint which makes it 60 per cent clear and Polysolar's aim is to develop its product to the point where the glass is 50 per cent clear, making little notable difference.

Because the technology could be printed it would also bring down the cost of pv for consumers.

Jody Chatterjee, director of Polysolar, which was established four years ago, said: "It is our first office outside Cambridge. We are looking to manufacture the technology at some point in time and are using the facilities at Petec to help us achieve that."

Mr Chatterjee added that if the technology moved to the manufacturing stage it was possible that work could be carried out in the North-East.