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Scientists invent first rechargeable solar battery

The rechargeable solar battery could make solar power more affordable, allowing the renewable energy source to be deployed more widely. The rechargeable solar battery was invented at Ohio State University.

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A worker walks past a row of solar panels at a solar plant in the Amazon area of northern Bolivia. A rechargeable solar battery could cut manufacturing costs for solar-energy systems by about 25 percent, according to researchers.

Juan Karita/AP/File

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Researchers at Ohio State University say they've invented the first rechargeable solar battery.

The researchers say the new battery could make solar energy more affordable and open the door for its widespread use as a sustainable power source.

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Solar panels generate energy from the sun that must be stored in expensive batteries in order for it to be sustainable. The OSU researchers say that a rechargeable battery would lower the cost of storing and using that energy.

A researcher says the battery should cut manufacturing costs for solar-energy systems by about 25 percent. And the solar batteries should last about the same as rechargeable batteries already on the market.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the OSU research team is reporting its findings Friday in the journal Nature Communications.