The summer might be over, but that doesn't mean our use of solar energy needs to go away, as well! Researchers at Solar3D have created a new type of solar panel that can capture more energy at any point during the year. Current solar panels are two dimensional and can reflect up 30% of the sunlight that hits it. The design of these panels have not changed much in recent years, but they are not always very efficient. The panels created by Solar3D take solar energy capture to a whole new dimension, literally. Their 3D panels have small trenches in each cell, so when sunlight bounces in it gets trapped and converted to usable energy! With this method, the creators say less sunlight is lost and more energy--at least twice as much as current panels--is created! The company hopes to minimize costs by sticking to existing manufacturing processes and hopes to enter the marketplace within the next year.
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