Over the years, the quest for a reliable, renewable and most of all cheap energy source has come a long way with the development of solar panel technology. One of the problems faced, however, is the efficiency of such panels and their ability to generate sufficient amounts of energy during less favorable weather conditions. Research at MIT has taken a leap forward in remedying this with the development of three-dimensional photovoltaic cells.
The research team's developments which can be found in the recently published journal of Energy and Environmental Science, show these accordion-like towers made out of cubes of solar panels have an energy yield of up to 20 times more than conventional flat solar panels. The large gain in capacity is possible thanks to an efficient harvesting of sunlight energy during less favorable hours of the day.
Although these towers are much more efficient than traditional flat panels, the associated costs aren't exactly consumer friendly. Hopefully with improvements in the manufacturing process coming along in the future, we may be able to see residential and business outlets fitted with these efficient solar towers.