First, there was the hybrid. Then, there were the plug-in electric vehicles. Now, we have the Ford C-MAX Solar Energi concept car. Think of it as a plug-in electric car with solar panels on the roof. With this vehicle, drivers don’t need a cord to get the power. The idea: leave the car in the sun and let the solar panels do the work. Innovative, yes, but there’s a problem—getting the solar panels to actually charge the cars take a while. That’s where researchers from Georgia Tech come in. Their job is to figure out how to make the panels more efficient. So the researchers turned to the same technology you see in a lighthouse.