Super cheap two-faced solar panels could change everything, show study

Credit: Unsplash+.

Scientists have come up with a super smart type of solar panel that can soak up the sun from both its front and back sides, making it way more powerful and cheaper to produce than the ones we’re used to.

These special panels use something called carbon nanotubes, which are super tiny tubes, even thinner than a human hair or a strand of DNA.

In fact, you would need to stack 45,000 of these tubes to get the thickness of a piece of paper!

This exciting discovery was shared by a team of smart people from places like Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute, the University of Cambridge, and several universities in China.

Their findings were published in a science magazine called Nature Communications.

Dr. Jing Zhang, who is part of the team, explained that these new solar panels can catch sunlight on both their top and bottom sides. This means they can make more electricity no matter where the sun is shining from.

The tiny tubes they use are special because they let light through while also being able to carry electricity.

The best part?

These panels are not only really good at catching sunlight from all angles, but they’re also super cheap to make.

In tests, the panels made more than 36 milliwatts of power for every square centimeter, and the back side nearly matched the front side in power generation. This is a big deal because most of the two-sided panels out there can’t do that as well.

Professor Ravi Silva, who leads the institute, mentioned how important solar energy is for reducing our reliance on polluting energy sources.

He said that making solar energy cheaper is key, and these new panels are a huge step in that direction. They’re 70% cheaper to make than traditional solar panels, which could really shake things up for the better in the solar power world.

This breakthrough could mean a lot more clean, affordable energy for people everywhere, helping us take better care of our planet.

Source: University of Surrey.