Solar panels to be micro-sized in the near future

The products including some sort of solar charger continues to grow – from backpacks to clothing. Now the technology is progressing so that we may soon see solar cells that are thinner than human hair!

Future solar cells could be microsized, making them more efficient and less costly

Future solar cells could be microsized, making them more efficient and less costly

Sandia National Laboratories have been developing glitter-sized photovoltaic cells made from crystalline silicon that are fabricated using microelectronic and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) techniques. Measuring around 14 to 20 micrometers thick and 0.25 to 1 millimeter across, these cells are expected to be cheaper and more efficient that current solar cells.

Sandia’s lead investigator Greg Nielson said  these cells would be wrapped around unusual shapes for building-integrated solar, tents and possibly  clothing. The latter would  allow consumers to walk around and charge up simultaneously. Hunters, hikers or military personnel in the field would be able to recharge batteries for phones, cameras and other electronic devices as they walk or rest.

Inverters, intelligent controls and storage would be built in at the chip level. It’s thought these amazing cells will be mass produced sometime in the future.

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One Response

  1. Just one single thought though. Perhaps you have made composing this blog as your profession or do you do this within your free time? Merely wondering..

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