30 Oct '15, 5pm

Japanese Paper Cutting Trick for Moving Solar Cells

To maximize the amount of electricity that solar cells generate, solar panels can be tilted to track the position of the sun over the course of a day. Conventional solar trackers can increase yearly energy generation by 20 to 40 percent, but they can be costly, heavy and bulky, limiting their widespread implementation. Now materials scientist Max Shtein and his colleagues at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor have developed novel solar cells that integrate tracking into their design. The design involves a variation of origami known as kirigami , which uses both folding and cutting to create unique structures. They detailed their findings in the 8 September online edition of the journal Nature Communications . The scientists cut kirigami designs into a 3-micron-thick flexible crystalline gallium arsenide solar cells mounted on plastic sheets. A solar cell array of this...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/green-tech/solar/japa...

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