When it comes to green energy, the odds are certainly stacked against us.
I'm sure many of you have seen at least one roof adorned with solar panels, especially as they become more and more common. Harnessing the power of the sun is not a new idea by any means, but with the recent push towards more environmental-friendly energy, it's now in with the cool crowd.
Of course, that's not to say it doesn't have critics. Many have made the argument that solar panels simply don't produce enough energy to be practical or efficient, for example, and it isn't without merit.
Now, however, scientists from MIT have come up with a solution (or partial solution, at least) to this problem by... well, you read the title. No, that's all it takes.
Source: Extremetech...a team of MIT researchers have stacked a bunch of photovoltaic solar cells together to produce up to 20 times the power output of conventional solar power installations.
The team built a variety of 3D designs, including a cube, and in all cases they produced between two and 20 times as much power as a flat panel. The most interesting facet of this discovery, though, is that these 3D stacks produce lots of extra power whenever the sun is near the horizon, i.e. in the morning, evening, winter, or at latitudes far away from the equator. With conventional, flat cells, it’s hard to capture low-angle light, but with an accordion structure (as pictured) the relative angle would be closer to 45 degrees.
Who knew that the key to a scientific breakthrough could be found in a local IHOP? What other secrets does it hold?
I always love innovations like this, where they achieve great breakthroughs while making everyone in the room plant their face in their palm and mutter, "Why didn't I think of that?" Combined with other solar breakthroughs, this could be the push that the industry needs. At the very least, I'm sure they're taking it well... though it could be a little too well.