An all-weather solar panel is getting closer after scientists in China developed a solar cell that can generate power from raindrops.

The researchers have developed a solar cell with an atom-thick layer of graphene that harvests the energy from raindrops making them more useful for the weather here in the UK.

The salt in the rain separates into ions making graphene and natural water a great combination for creating energy. The water actually clings to the graphene, forming a dual layer. The energy difference between these layers is so strong that it generates electricity.

The catch is that the current technology only converts just over 6% of the energy it gets which is a big difference to the 22% you see from some of the traditional solar panels. Having said that it's still early days and if the developers can improve the performance they could have a big impact on reducing our dependency on conventional power.