A solar panel and a yoga mat not often appear in the same sentence. But future solar panels have been compared to mats as a new technology promises to deliver amazing flexibility and efficiency within five years.
According to a report on Boston.com, MicroContinuum, a company based in Cambridge, is developing in partnership with three universities what it calls ‘nantennas’, which are designed to collect more solar power than existing solar cells.
What the company envisages is a thin, flexible sheet that is cheap to produce. “Imagine a roll-up sheet, like a yoga mat, that you can toss over any structure, or roof tiles whose outermost layers are laced with nantennas”, the website wrote. According to the University of Missouri, one of the partners, they would be able to collect 90 percent of available light.
“Our overall goal is to collect and utilize as much solar energy as is theoretically possible and bring it to the commercial market in an inexpensive package that is accessible to everyone,” Professor Patrick Pinhero, an associate professor in the MU Chemical Engineering Department, said in a statement.
Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.