The new solar panel can be folded in half without damage
Researchers have created a solar panel so flexible that it continues to function normally even after 10,000 folds in half.
Rigid PV panels are well suited for roofs and solar farms, but their use is severely limited elsewhere. Modern electronic technology is moving towards greater flexibility, so engineers at Pusan National University have created a prototype photocell that can be folded in half, almost like paper.
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Folding electronic devices with a bend radius of 0.5 mm are usually subject to severe deformation due to insufficient elastic substrates and metal oxide conductors. To solve this problem, the researchers attached a conductive film of single-walled carbon nanotubes to a polyimide substrate and doped it with molybdenum oxide to improve conductivity.
As a result, the team created a prototype solar cell with a conversion efficiency of 15.2%, a transparency of 80% and a thickness of only 7 microns. During the tests, the device was folded to a radius of 0.5 mm and after more than 10 thousand bending cycles it continued to function normally.
We also previously reported on the development of photocells that adapt to different lighting levels.
, Pusan National University, gtai