Foldable Solar Panels Could Be Up To 80% Efficient

Researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory have designed a lightweight, foldable solar panel design which they predict will function at 80% efficiency (the best solar panel prototypes operate at about 40%). The researchers' secret is the implementation of nanoantennas, which have the ability to absorb not only light, but heat from the sun as well.

The sheet of solar panels is similar in size and weight to a sheet of plastic wrap But like any breakthrough, this is still in the theoretical stage, as researchers have only simulated the function of the solar cells and design tweaks still need to be made. [Idaho National Laboratory via Eco Geek via Oh Gizmo via New Launches]