A new solar cell developed by a team of Chinese scientists may change the way we use solar panels. Invention of solar power was a great step forward in the world of alternative energy sources. However this type of conventional power has always posed one concern: solar cells produce no power when it's raining. Chinese scientists have found the way to create electricity with the assistance of raindrops – they coated a solar cell with a thin film of graphene. A graphene layer reacts with ions in the rain to generate energy. When a raindrop contacts with a graphene, the water becomes enriched in positive ions and the graphene becomes enriched in delocalized electrons. The difference in potential is sufficient to produce a current and voltage.
Nevertheless a new approach for making an all-weather solar cell is not that perfect. It is a lot less efficient than the solar panels available at the moment. The rain panels are able to convert only about 6.5 percent of the energy they receive, while the world's best solar panels convert up to 22.5 percent. If the researchers considerably improve future versions, the innovative solar cells could become a promising renewable energy option in countries with a limit of sunny days.