The Japanese art of ‘Kirigami’ has been cleverly employed by researchers at the University of Michigan. Together, they’ve managed to construct a lattice-like strip into an effective solar-cell.
The Kirigami solar-cell system expands over the course of the day to harvest up to 30% more solar energy than traditional solar panels. The static nature of traditional panels leaves them inefficient as the sky continually changes overhead. By stretching however, these solar-strips are able to follow the path of the sun. Several challenges needs to be overcome though. For instance, durability due to thinness of the strips still requires consideration, and then there’s performance at extreme temperatures. All these improvements are set to follow as the design is developed. We look forward to see ever-more innovative solutions to problems. The best of luck to them!