Researchers have come up with a new way to generate electricity with solar panel technology by harvesting the energy produced by raindrops.
The method, proposed by a team from Tsinghua University in China, involves a device called a triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) that creates electrification from liquid-solid contact.
The panels are typically used to collect energy from waves, as droplet-based TENGs (D-TENGs) have previously faced technical limitations that have prevented them from operating on any significant scale.
By using arrays of solar panel bridges, the researchers discovered such barriers could be overcome.
It is one of several promising advances with solar panel technology in recent months, with an Australian team of researchers developing self-healing cells capable of recovering 100 per cent of their original efficiency after suffering degradation from space radiation.