Generally, solar power cells need to stay cool in order to efficiently generate power, and for longevity. Active cooling such as ventilation isn't always a practical choice, since it can be quite expensive and may even block some cells from collecting solar energy.
Researchers from Stanford University have designed a new type of solar cell that solves this problem by cooling themselves. These new solar cells have a pattern embedded into them of small cone and pyramid shapes. These patterns are in the silica surface and allow hot infrared wavelengths to be bounced off of them, letting in visible light and generating the most energy possible.
The self-cooling solar cells are still being tested -- the team from Stanford still has to test the system outdoors. But, if all goes well, they might just have produced the ideal solar cell for commercial use, helping consumers save on electric bills and generate enough power for more than just a few gadgets.