These super-thin flexible solar cells turn textiles into solar panels

As the power demand for gaming continues to increase, renewable energy is even more important. And not just from an environmental perspective – having solar panels on my house is half the reason I can afford to run all my weird electronics. We can even potentially harness energy from any heat source using inverted solar panels (opens in a new tab). The future of a high-tech home is undoubtedly powered at least in part by solar energy, and now that future is coming to textiles.

Researchers at MIT (opens in a new tab) has developed a paper-thin solar cell that can be attached to any surface. Thanks to its light and flexible nature, this means fabrics, and it has the potential to open up a world of possibilities. Think wearables that don’t need to be charged, battery packs, self-powered tents, solar sails on actual boats. Of course, there are some hurdles to overcome first.

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