Novel Solar Cells that Harvest Energy from Raindrops

The radiant energy of the sun can be harnessed using a wide range of ever-evolving technologies including Solar heating, Photovoltaic, Thermal energy and Solar architecture. But the instability of generation makes it unacceptable for the consumers as they can’t rely on it solely.  Global solar power installations are soaring as a result of the costs plunging 90%  in the past decade. This made it the cheapest source of energy in many remote locations.

The researchers from Soochow University China, have come up with a device that can generate electricity in daytime and additionally, provides electricity at night if there is rain. The device more efficient and also light weight due to its unique design.

This construction of device includes two transparent layers on top of a Solar Photovoltaic cell which are grooved to focus the light, the cell works traditionally while exposed to solar radiation and when the raindrop falls on the surface and then rolls off, the friction generates a static electricity. This makes the Solar cell harvest energy even when there is no sunlight. It helps to reduce the variation of generation and propels the acceptability of Solar Energy.

A similar device was previously developed under the name of Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGS).  But the new design is simple and more efficient. The polymer acts as electrode for both TENG and solar cell. A prototype product is expected to be ready in three to five years. More and more innovative approaches are being developed to make the device even more advanced including integration of flexible devices so that it can be used with clothes and artificial photosynthesis that can be used to produce gaseous and liquid fuels using solar energy.

Source: The Guardian

A group of tech enthusiasts who are tracking latest developments in CleanTech with special focus on Energy Storage and Electric Mobility

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A group of tech enthusiasts who are tracking latest developments in CleanTech with special focus on Energy Storage and Electric Mobility

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