solar technology

Cyborg bacteria and nanotechnology in solar panels

Cyborg bacteria and nanotechnology in solar panels

Solar panels are an energy source that’s going green. We’re not talking about energy efficiency. We’re talking about color. Solar panels are glowing bright green thanks to nanotechnology. They’re also becoming more efficient thanks to research in cyborg bacteria.

Scientists in the Netherlands have announced a new way to color your solar panels. Instead of looking boring and black, this clean energy system can glow bright green. It’s even possible to include other colors like white and red.

Changing solar landscapes

Color changing solar panels sound like a fun idea but it’s also a very practical one. Green solar panels will blend more into natural landscapes. White solar panels may be less noticeable in city settings and red ones may be disguised on red rooftops. If consumers have the ability to camouflage their solar panels, they might be more likely to install them, especially in residential areas.

nanotechnology and solar panels

Nanotechnology

The secret to these colorful clean energy systems lies in nanotechnology. With this technology, existing solar panels would get a new silicon nanopattern that helps reflect green light. Colored solar panels are currently available but the dyes used to alter their appearance reduce their efficiency significantly. With this new process, colored solar panels would still have a slight power reduction but compared to previous methods it’s a great improvement. Another benefit to coloring solar panels with nanopatterns is consistency. The panels will appear green from every angle. With current dye methods, the appearance of the panels depends on your point of view.

While some people view less-efficient, colored solar panels as a step backward for the industry, others see them as progress. If more people are willing to purchase solar panels that blend into their surroundings, it’s a win for renewable energy. This technology is still being developed but it won’t be long before it’s commercialized for everyday use.

cyber bacteria and solar panels

Cyborg bacteria beats photosynthesis

Photosynthesis is the official term to describe how plants turn carbon dioxide into oxygen. Researchers at UC Berkeley used this scientific process as the inspiration for their latest discovery on how to improve the efficiency of solar panels. Using a naturally occurring bacteria, they taught it to cover itself with the nanocrystals. These tiny nanocrystals function like miniature solar panels, capturing energy from the sun.

The natural photosynthesis process is only about 2 percent efficient. With these nanocrystals acting as an artificial form of photosynthesis, the efficiency was around 80 percent. The scientists who made this discovery are still researching its potential. Although cyborg bacteria isn’t ready for commercial use yet, people are excited about how it will shape the future of solar technology.