Bacteria-powered solar panels can generate power “even when it’s cloudy”

Researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) have created solar cell powered by bacteria that works as effectively in bright and dim conditions.

The UBC says the technology could boost solar panel usage in parts of the world where overcast skies are common.

The UBC describe the process as "biogenic", because it is made of living organisms, and predict that in the future the technology could become as efficient as traditional solar panels.

Vikramaditya Yadav, professor in the department of chemical and biological engineering, said: "We have taken a significant step toward making solar energy more economical.

"These hybrid materials that we are developing can be made economically and sustainably, andwith sufficient optimisation could perform at comparable efficiencies as conventional solar cells."

UBC’s research has been published in the journal Small.

Image: Solar panels (Wikimedia Commons/David Monniaux)

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