The Key to More Efficient Solar Panels Could Be Butterflies
Photovoltaic (PV) technology has become more advanced during the last decade, but there is a lot of room for improvement, especially when it comes to efficiency. While it's great in terms of green energy, it can surely be more efficient with regards to how much light solar panels are able to absorb and convert into electricity.
A new solar cell recently discovered shows considerable progress when it comes to harvesting sunlight. Inspired by the wings of a rose butterfly often found in India, the new cell can harvest solar power twice as efficiently as standard solar panels do. Nevertheless, there is still research to be done and the technology won't be available anytime soon, but researchers believe it will significantly improve the efficiency and cost of solar panels in the future.
How can a butterfly make our solar panels more effective?
The rose butterfly is cold-blooded and needs sunlight to heat up its muscles before flying. Because of this, its black wings have evolved to be excellent at capturing sunlight. A look under the microscope at the wings of this butterfly shows us once again mother nature's engineering at work.
"The wings are built from tiny scales that are covered in randomly spaced holes. The holes are less than a millionth of a meter wide, and they help scatter the light and help the butterfly absorb heat. - The Verge"