Berries - a revolution in solar energy


02/05/2010

Pokeweed berries herb American (Latin Phytolacca americana), will revolutionize the solar energy industry, and in the near future may contribute to the spread of solar panels in the world and reduce the cost of solar energy.

Scientists from the Center for Nanotechnology used the red dye, produced from the berries of this plant to cover the efficient and inexpensive solar panels on the basis of the fibers. Dye served as absorbent, helping the tiny fibers of cells capture more sunlight.

American pokeweed is not terrible drought and rocky infertile soil. Thanks to this vitality, it can easily be grown in poor, rural areas of Africa. In the same place it is possible to produce wild absorbing dye significant increase in productivity of cells, giving energy to remote locations, which is not stretched lines.

"It’s a weed, and it grows on every continent except Antarctica," - said David Carroll, director of the Center for Nanotechnology.

Wake Forest University has received the first patent for a solar panel on the basis of fibers in November at the European Patent Office. Its subsidiary FiberCell Inc. granted a license for the development of a new type of production technology of solar panels.

Fiber cell can produce twice as much energy as compared with conventional, due to the fact that they consist of millions of tiny plastic "cans", which is to catch the light until most of the light is not absorbed. Since the fibers create a much larger surface area, fiber solar panels can collect light from all angles - from sunrise to sunset.

Plastic fibers are punched in the plastic sheet - the process technology similar to that used for attaching the lid to the can of carbonated beverage. Absorbent - polymer or less expensive paint applied to the surface of the sheet. Plastic makes the panel easy and flexible, so the manufacturer can roll them up and inexpensive to deliver the goods in developing countries, such as hospitals.

Apply paint to the panel, and conduct pre-training may be already in place. Carroll has estimated that the cost of such a plant will be about $ 5 million, which is $ 15 million less than the cost of setting up a similar plant for conventional panels.

"We are able to supply the substrate," - he said, - "This is cheap solar panels that will work with local agrokulturnogo inexpensive varieties such as pokeweed American. Such panels are even available to developing countries." We’ll tell you the top news of science and technology, more detailed and interesting.

Original: Sciencedaily.com


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