Japanese Paper Cutting Could Be The Key To Better #SolarPower
The University of Michighan discovered that solar power can be made 40% more efficient with the use of Kirigami, a Japanese paper cutting technique. via fastcodesign
Kirigami isn’t quite as well known as it’s flashier cousin, origami, but the Japanese paper cutting technique is already being implemented in innovative new technology designs. Next up for kirigami? Making solar power more efficient.
Here’s the solar energy problem in a nutshell: Most panels sit on rooftops at a fixed angle. But the sun isn’t fixed: it arcs overhead from dawn to dusk. That means that for large portions of the day, even the most strategically placed solar powers are missing out on perfectly good sunlight. Even if your solar panels are designed to follow the sun, you have to tilt the entire panel for them to do so, which requires heavy machinery to do the heavy lifting on hundreds of pounds of solar equipment at a time.
Researchers on a team led by Max Shtein, a professor of materials science at the University of Michigan, have figured out a new way to make solar panels that follow the sun, maximizing the area in which its solar receptors are exposed to photons at all times of day. These flexible, amorphous panel strips are made of gallium arsenide that are cut in a kirigami-like fashion. The result is solar panels that, with just a little bit of force, ‘pull apart’ to follow the sun’s arc.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.