Solar electric panels have been built using a number of materials, but with recent technological developments, solar arrays could be made to become even more efficient. Researchers at MIT have found that new solar panels can be made from lead-acid car batteries. These types of batteries are often retired and replaced with more efficient lithium-ion batteries. According to the study conducted at MIT, the lead from these older batteries can be recycled into making more efficient solar panels. Additionally, reusing the lead would prevent its integration into local landfills, increasing eco-friendliness even further for this industry. Another plus is that because the solar cells do not require much of the lead – called perovskite – just one car battery could supply enough solar panels for up to 30 homes, according to The Washington Post. This also makes the new design of panels even less expensive than the current models. “They’re definitely cheaper,” Angel Belcher, Professor of Energy at MIT and co-author of the study, tells the source. “And the efficiencies right now are at almost 20 percent, which is competing with the 20 to 25 percent in silicon.” From a manufacturing standpoint, perovskite is easier to work with than silicon, which is currently used for panel construction as it requires lower temperatures and less specialized equipment. While this panel technology is very exciting, it is still very much in the research stage of development. If you want to get involved now in the environmental revolution, consider purchasing solar electric panels for a home rooftop installation. If you are interested in learning more about your options, contact Golden Solar.