Solar energy is a renewable resource that can also save households and businesses money on utility bills. New innovations in solar technology are making it more efficient and affordable than ever before. Here are a few innovations in materials and batteries that will keep solar affordable for homeowners and businesses who choose it as a power source.
New materials for solar cells
Scientists are on their way to discovering new materials for solar cells that are better equipped to absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity. Research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory in collaboration with the University of Cambridge in England shows promise in finding materials for dye-sensitized solar cells. The team has identified five high-performance and low-cost materials. This is exciting news for the solar industry. Not only do these materials better absorb light energy, but they are also significantly more environmentally friendly than existing materials.
Lithium-ion batteries are the primary type of solar batteries. A new report by David R. Baker of Bloomberg News reveals details on new lithium-ion battery factories that are scheduled to be built within the next five years. The lithium-ion battery will become more efficient as scientists tweak the technology. This will further drive down prices, making solar energy an even more affordable choice for powering homes.
A past and present challenge of solar energy is that it the storage is limited to batteries, not fuel. According to a recent report from Survival Renewable Energy, LLC, scientists are developing plans for a liquid that can store solar energy for as long as 18 years. New storage innovation has great potential for broadening the spectrum of businesses and households that will be able to access solar as an energy source.