The way solar panels are mostly designed right now is that they need to have direct sunlight for it to work. It also requires these massive panels that kind of limit where they are placed and how they are used, which in turn does hinder its potential, but that could change in the future thanks to student Carvey Ehren Maigue.
Maigue is a student at the Mapau University in the Philippines and he has created a prototype solar film that actually does not require direct sunlight for it to work. This is because the films were created using luminescent particles taken from fruit and vegetable waste, which in turn are used to capture ultraviolet rays which are then converted into visible light and used to generate energy.
This in turn solves a number of problems, such as what to do with the waste we generate from our food, and also how it can continue to generate energy even when it’s cloudy outside. Based on the 3×2 feet panel prototype, it seems like it can generate enough energy to charge two phones everyday, so scaling it up could potentially help it power larger devices or potentially even entire buildings.
Not to mention, the films are also flexible which means that the potential to use them in other applications is there, so imagine an electric car covered with this solar film that could keep itself powered without having to stop and recharge so often. We have no idea when this tech will be commercialized, but it sounds promising.