Countries all over the world are embracing solar power as a clean, renewable energy source. But despite its awesome potential, the traditional solar panel has its flaws. Most solar panels are big, heavy, and easily breakable, which limits where they can be used.
Solar glitter could be the solution.
Murat Okadan, CEO of mPower Technology, has developed a new kind of solar cell called Dragon SCALEs – aka solar glitter.
“Our technology makes it virtually unbreakable while keeping all the benefits of high efficiency, high reliability silicon PV,” Okadon explains. “It allows us to integrate PV in ways that weren’t possible before, such as in flexible materials, and deploy it faster in lighter-weight, larger-area modules.”
Made from high-efficiency silicon, these tiny solar cells can be printed onto just about any surface like an ink. The cells are lightweight, portable, and extremely flexible. This means they can stick to objects of all shapes and sizes, and come out of harsh conditions without a scratch. They’ll bend, but not break.
“By making our cells small and then interconnecting them we’re able to make them almost unbreakable,” says Okadon.
Try flexing a traditional solar panel. You can’t – it’ll simply shatter under the pressure.
If solar glitter works as Okadon describes, the applications are nearly limitless. To start, who wouldn’t want a personal solar panel to charge their devices on-the-go? But the potential reaches far beyond consumer use.
Drones could use the cells to recharge its batteries literally on the fly. Solar glitter could lighten the load on star-bound satellites. Not only could it be used on wearable electronics like smart watches, but solar glitter could be integrated into clothing and accessories.
Okadon’s invention could have old-school applications as well. Since solar glitter is lighter and easier to transport than traditional solar panels, it could also be used on rooftop and large-scale solar systems on buildings.
Solar power is on the rise, with large-scale operations taking place in countries across the globe. Solar glitter could take that progress to the next level.