One of the main problems of modern drones is battery life. Developers are not the first year trying to improve this feature, using a variety of technologies and even new designs of aircraft. American researchers have proposed an alternative option to increase the flight time, applying a scientific approach to the power supply of drone engines.
Scientists from the University of California at Berkeley upgraded the photovoltaic engine developed in 2011, which provides the engine of the drone with energy due to photovoltaics — converting the heat of sunlight into electricity. An ultralight generator the size of an envelope will allow the drone to stay in the air for up to several days without recharging.
Researchers were able to increase the "stuck" at 23% efficiency of the battery to 29% by installing a mirror on the back wall of the photodetector. By reflecting photons, it additionally heats the heat source and creates a dense infrared luminescent photonic gas inside the solar cell. In combination with new materials in the design of the battery is expected to increase the efficiency of the latter to 50%.
It is expected that in the future such a system will be able to provide electricity not only drones but also space probes and even entire buildings.