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Empa making super-efficient flexible solar cells

Written by Kfir Kedem – October 11, 2022

Reviewed by Asaf Kedem

How are solar cells going to become integrated with mobility? We already have solar panels which have been integrated into cars, such as with Tesla or Lightyear. However these solar panels are rigid structures that have some weight to them and have to be specifically manufactured out of glass or polymer to fit automotive tolerances.

Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, has created flexible solar cells out of a polymer film. The cell uses a semiconductor layer to absorb light. It is lightweight and ductile. Having said that, it also has a high efficiency level of 22.2%. For reference, home solar panels don’t go above 18% efficiency.

Auto Trendy’s take:

These cells – although not yet ready for the market – have huge potential for the automotive industry. Using them as a lightweight mat that can be applied on pre-designed roofs could help improve the energy efficiency of current electric vehicles. Electric car manufacturers could also use these cells as a simple solution that is easily integrated into their designs.

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