Capturing solar energy efficiently and inconspicuously is something that the Solaroad cycle path has attempted in the Netherlands. Now scientists at Stanford University have developed peel-and-stick solar panels, which can be attached to any surface.
Currently, many solar panels take the form of large rigid structures and are placed out of clear sight. Researchers at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the university – along with help from scientists in Colorado and Seoul – have now created thin, flexible substrates that can convert solar energy. A new process also allows the cells to be transferred from one surface to another without damaging them, meaning that they could be attached to almost anything – from mobile phones and business cards to windows and clothing. According to lead researcher Xiaolin Zheng, the new solar panel breakthrough offers “flexibility and attachment potential we’ve never seen before, and also reduces their general cost and weight”.
With this lightweight and portable innovation in solar power-gathering could this be the future of small-scale energy production?
Spotted by: Katherine Noyes