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Solar panels can store energy in a few microseconds from sun

Solar panels can store energy in a few microseconds from sun

NEW YORK: A new technology developed by scientists at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) can store solar energy for up to several weeks; an advance that could change the way scientists think about designing solar cells.
The materials in most of today’s residential rooftop solar panels can store energy from the sun for only a few microseconds at a time.
The new design is inspired by the way that plants generate energy through photosynthesis.
“In photosynthesis, plants that are exposed to sunlight use carefully organised nanoscale structures within their cells to rapidly separate charges, pulling electrons away from the positively charged molecule that is left behind, and keeping positive and negative charges separated,” said senior study author Sarah Tolbert.
“That separation is the key to making the process so efficient,” Tolbert said.
To capture energy from sunlight, conventional rooftop solar cells use silicon, a fairly expensive material.
On the other hand, plastic solar cells which are cheaper – are relatively inefficient, because the separated positive and negative electric charges often recombine before they can become electrical energy.