Technologies

Created small solar panels that fit even on soap bubbles

Since about 2010, more and morecompact devices. We are talking about all sorts of unmanned drones, medical sensors, and so on. They are capable of performing complex tasks such as high-altitude flights, reconnaissance of territories and monitoring the health of people, but they have one big drawback - a short battery life. Since these devices are small, they cannot be equipped with large batteries. This problem can be solved only by installing solar panels. At the moment, most of these power supplies are also impressive in size, but recently Arab scientists have developed technology that can be used to create tiny and lightweight panels. It is reported that, if desired, they can even be installed on the surface of soap bubbles. Sounds intriguing, so let's get into the details.

Arab scientists have developed the smallest solar panels in the world

Content

  • 1 Lightest solar panel
  • 2 How do solar panels work?
  • 3 Why are solar panels needed?
  • 4 Solar Panel Efficiency

Lightest solar panel

About the new invention of Arab scientists wasdescribed on the website of the King Abdullah University, which is located in Saudi Arabia. In fact, they developed new varieties of ink for a 3D printer - they can be applied in several layers to create thin solar panels.

Slim solar panels can be installed even on fragile surfaces

How do solar panels work?

Solar panels are made up of multiple layers. The first is called photoactive layer and under the influence of sunlight gives up electrons - negatively charged elementary particles. The second layer is cathode electrodewhich accepts electrons. The researchers used organic material P3HT: O-IDTBR as the photoactive layer. The electrode was a material called PEDOT: PSS.

Slim solar panel structure

Previously, other groups of scientists have already created thinsolar panels, but brittle indium-tin oxide acted as an electrode in their structure. A technological innovation lies in the fact that the material PEDOT: PSS is very flexible. It's also worth noting that the scientists have provided the tiny solar panels with a layer of zinc oxide, which speeds up the transfer of electrical energy. They covered this entire structure with parylene, a flexible material that is protected from water and safe for living organisms. Thanks to this coating, solar panels can be used even in medical devices that are attached or implanted into the human body.

With new solar panels, fitness bracelets won't need to be charged

See also: Analogue of a solar battery, or how to get energy from the shadow

Solar panel efficiency

Solar panels are lightweight and suitable foruse in medical devices - there is no particular doubt about it. But personally, I'm wondering how efficient are these energy sources? Indeed, even with large solar panels, the efficiency leaves much to be desired - they efficiently process only 12 to 18% of the sunlight falling on them. It is hoped that the aforementioned zinc oxide layer will provide the highest possible efficiency and that the panels will indeed be able to deliver enough energy to electronic devices. It is currently unknown when the created panels will begin to be used in commercial devices.

Even large solar panels cannot boast of high efficiency. How will miniature counterparts show themselves?

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I recently talked about how American engineersdeveloped the smallest flying machine in the world. It is called "microflier" and it works very simply - with its wings it catches the wind and slowly falls to the ground. It is believed that many of these devices can be built as needed and used to track changes in the environment as well as the spread of disease. But to equip this device with sensors, you need to supply it with a light power source. It seems like American scientists should contact their Arab counterparts.