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MIT Designs 3D Orgami Solar Panels

April 9, 2010
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Computer simulations of 3-D solar panels. The one on the left  consists of 64 flat, triangular, double-sided panels; the one on the  right is a simplified version. Credit: Jeffrey Grossman et al.

MIT researchers are working on a new kind of solar panel  that could prove to be much more energy-efficient than current flat panels. An initial 3D structure made up of jagged clusters of 64 triangles that harvests more than 60 kilowatt-hours daily was simplified (see a-to-b, above) into a square box whose sides cave in at the center. The boxes could be shipped as flat 3-D panels and opened up like origami and used beyond just building rooftops–for instance, by taking advantage of light reflected off the ground. Saving installation costs which typically make up two-thirds of the cost of flat panels could further help lower the cost of solar power.
via Live Science
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