MIT is working with 3D solar towers to improve solar input and output efficiency. Researchers are working with nanoscale 3D structures to trap light and increase the amount of solar energy that it can take in. They are working on changing the shape of solar panels so the change of angle of sunlight won’t decrease the amount of energy absorbed. This new shape has the ability to tap in 20 times more power output.

Researchers tested 3D modules using computer algorithms, various latitudes, seasons, weather, and conditions. This led to a shift in vertical panels to absorb more energy, allowing sunlight to hit the panels over time. The MIT team tested different shapes such as cube like modules, which offered a 10% increase in power output.

The only downside is the increase in the cost of production, though researchers think it would be offset by the increase in energy output.