This Cheap, New Solar Cell Doubles as a Battery

By Adam Clark Estes on at

Solar power has an efficiency problem. When the electrons move from the solar panel to the battery that stores them, about 20 per cent of the energy is lost. But now, thanks to new type of solar cell, nearly 100 per cent 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 revolutionise the industry. It comes in the form of a mesh solar cell that can also store electricity. The new hybrid device runs on light and oxygen, storing electricity with the help of a simple chemical reaction. The best part is that it brings down the cost of a standard solar cell by 25 per cent.

So let's review. The new solar cell does away with bulky batteries, is significantly more efficient than existing solar technology, and costs a lot less. Better still? Researchers are already selling the technology to manufacturers, so it might not be long before we actually see it in the real world. [Ohio State]