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Thinnest Solar Panels Ever May Be In The Pipeline

We are keen to keep out readers up to date with interesting developments in the area of solar power whether it is a large solar farm that has received planning approval or an interesting invention.

How thin can solar cells get?
(image credit: bradleyolin)

Researchers at the MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering are looking to manufacture the lightest and thinnest solar panels that would be available anywhere in the world. It is the view of these researchers that they are aiming towards producing the best solar power conversion material available.

In comparison to tissue paper, it is believed to be both many thousands of times lighter and thinner. This would make the product much more efficient and by stacking a number of layers able to compete very effectively with more conventional forms of solar cell technology.

It is believed that cells that are very light could have a significant amount of possibilities if used in the likes of aviation, spacecraft and in areas around the globe that are extremely remote. Apparently, these new solar cells are capable of generating as much as 1,000 times more solar power than normal solar photovoltaic panels.

However, they are a mere one billionth of a meter thick which makes them between 20 to 50 times thinner than any other solar cell that could be manufactured today. The material that they are using to help make these ultra thin solar panels costs significantly less than the silicon that is used at the present moment in time. This material provides long-term stability even when used outside. Unlike other types of material for solar cells this latest material does not need to be protected by layers of heavy glass as it remains stable when encountering moisture, ultraviolet light and in air.

We will continue to keep you up to date with any developments about this specific material and it will be interesting to see if anything else is progressed as far as new materials are concerned in the future.

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