Researchers at The Ohio State University have created a hybrid device that combines a battery and a solar cell for the first time. The device utilizes a permeable mesh solar panel that lets air flow to the battery and a unique process transfers electrons between the solar panel and the battery electrode.
Yiying Wu, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Ohio State, explains the device as “a breathing battery. It breathes in air when it discharges, and breathes out when it charges.” The device has also solved a historic problem in efficiency of solar energy. The loss of electricity is removed because the electrons do not need to travel between a solar cell and an external battery. The new design saves close to 100% of the electrons increasing the efficiency.