Flexible Silicon Solar Cell Wires Could Make Solar Charging Fabrics A RealityA team led by Penn State researchers has succeeded in building silicon fibers thinner than a human hair that can act as solar cells. If the work scales up to produce longer fibers as well as the team thinks it could, these solar energy absorbing threads could be woven into clothing in the future. So if you've ever wanted a jacket that can pull in energy through the fibers it's made of and use it charge your phone while you take a stroll in the park, take heart -- you might be getting it sooner than expected.Read on...
Researchers Craft Stable Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell, Cheaper Than Silicon
Generic solar cells are made with a significant amount of silicon. Unfortunately, silicon can be pretty scarce, expensive and toxic. So a variation was made by replacing the silicon with the semiconductor titanium oxide in a dye-sensitized solar cell. This is referred to as a Grätzel solar cell. Even more unfortunately, these can leak and tend to have a short shelf life. But a team at Northwestern University may have solved all that by developing a stable version of the Grätzel cell.Read on...
New Magnetic Approach to Solar Energy Could Overturn a Century of PhysicsStephen Rand, a researcher and proffessor at the University of Michigan may have just casually overthrown 100 years of physics with his team's new approach to harnessing solar energy. The key to the breakthrough is the magnetic properties of light, which scientists thought negligible for years. But the researchers found that when light passes through a material that does not conduct electricity -- such as glass -- it has magnetic affects 100 million times stronger than anticipated. That's a big number, and it might have huge repercussions for solar cell manufacturers.Read on...