Now here’s a story that makes me feel profoundly unaccomplished: a 12 year old boy in Beaverton, Oregon recently developed a new type of 3D solar cell that makes other solar cells look inefficient by comparison.
William Yuan’s 3D cell can absorb both visible and UV light. According to his calculations, solar panels equipped with his 3D cells could provide 500 times more light absorption than current commercial solar cells and nine times more light than existing 3D solar cells.
Yuan received a well-deserved $25,000 scholarship for his research. The next step? Getting his invention to market. Of course, the viability of his solar cells will ultimately depend on their cost efficiency—but Yuan has his whole life ahead of him to work on that.