Scientists from the University of Tor Vergata, located in Rome, announced that they developed a new type of solar panel made with the pigment of blueberries. The panel, as opposed to traditional ones, eliminated completely the use of silicon. The result is a much cheaper product and more efficient to a certain extent because the panels are more flexible and in the near future they could even become transparent sheets.
[Ed. Note]: Because of the recent worldwide shortage in the supply of silicon, there has been a significant increase in interest for so-called ‘thin-film’ photovoltaics. While some are made of amorphous silicon (basically it’s bendable), most are made of CIGS (copper indium gallium diselenide) or CdTe (Cadmium telluride). While less efficient than their crystalline silicon counterparts, they can often be manufactured for less, are thinner and flexible, and can be more efficient in cloudy weather. The new cutting edge of thin-film design is centered around organic technologies – check out the Konarka website for an example – these guys are flooded with venture capital money at the moment and look as though they are going to release some real interesting products