Solar power has an efficiency problem. When the electrons move from the solar panel to the battery that stores them, about 20 percent of the energy is lost. But now, thanks to new type of solar cell, nearly 100 percent of the energy is stored. That’s because the solar cell itself is the battery. Researchers at Ohio State just announced a breakthrough in solar energy technology that stands to revolutionize the industry. It comes in the form of a mesh solar cell that can also store electricity.
It’s a solar cell! No… it’s a rechargeable lithium-air battery! No… wait… it’s both: It’s the world’s first all-in-one solar battery! The new device, developed by Ohio State University, is essentially an air-breathing lithium battery that recharges via a built-in solar cell. This is significant, because one of the biggest problems with wide-scale solar power deployment is that you also need huge banks of batteries to store electricity — to even out spikes in generation when it’s cloudy or dark – and not only are those batteries expensive, but a lot of electricity is lost simply by traveling from the solar panels to external storage. An integrated solution is both cheaper and more efficient — about 25% cheaper and 20% more efficient, according to the researchers.
Share Your Thoughts