Self-Assembling Solar Cells Recycle Themselves Repeatedly
By Eco Guy
4:03am 3rd September 2010
MIT has been researching into creating natural cell like solar cells which are able to reassemble themselves and the research so far looks quite promising...
See here for the original article.
Basically MIT have created a molecular 'soup' that when exposed to a surfactant breaks down into a solution of nanotubes, phospholipids and other molecules; but once that solution is pushed through a membrane that removes the surfactant, the components recombine to create working solar cells.
In this way any damage caused from being exposed to the Sun can be removed by breaking down the cells and regenerating them.
The current level of efficiency is 40% (that over double the current efficiency level) and the researchers reckon they can go higher.
This is great news and one technology I hope is able to make it to main stream development and production. Higher efficiency combined with ongoing reliability is key to solar power
actually being practical and affordable over the long term. Although I would not be waiting around for this, as there is no indication of by when it will get out of the lab and onto any roof in quantity - also no indications yet of cost.
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