Scientists at Ohio State University invented a solar panel that stores energy without the need of an external battery.
Key to the innovation is a mesh solar panel, which allows air to enter the battery, and a special process for transferring electrons between the solar panel and the battery electrode. Inside the device, light and oxygen enable different parts of the chemical reactions that charge the battery.
Yiying Wu, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Ohio State, says:
“The state of the art is to use a solar panel to capture the light, and then use a cheap battery to store the energy. We’ve integrated both functions into one device. Any time you can do that, you reduce cost.”
The university will license the solar battery to industry.
He and his students believe that their device brings down costs by 25 percent.