YUNNAN, CHINA — Scientists in China are producing solar panels that can produce energy from the last source you'd expect — rainwater.
In a study published in the journal Angewandte Chemie, researchers in China introduced a new type of solar panel that adds a layer of graphene, or carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb structure, to dye-sensitized solar cells. A flexible layer of indium tin oxide and plastic is included underneath.
Graphene has unusual properties that allow electrons to move freely throughout the entire layer. According to the researchers, rainwater contains positively charged ions like ammonium, calcium and sodium. When water binds to the panel's surface, a double-layer of positive ions and negatively charged electrons is created, which ends up producing a voltage and current.
Tests of the new solar panels have been able to produce hundreds of microvolts, which is small even compared to a standard AA battery, reports Quartz. The solar-to-electric energy conversion stood at about 7 percent, which is much lower than the 20 percent energy conversion achieved by the best solar panels on the market.
So there's a long way to go before the new solar panels become more widely used. But more efficient future versions could mean big things for the solar industry.
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This is dead end tech, the graphene must be exposed to the elements and it sacrifices almost half it's efficiency for a minuscule amount of energy from the rain.
It's a curiosity not breakthrough.
I'd bet you'd get more electricity from a water wheel at the down spout.
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Why not develop panels to line canals and pipes that have moving water to generate ekectrity none stop? The panels could supply vacuum spark gaps located away from a water source to increase the electrical frequency being generated and then wirelessly sent to energize a electrical grid.
What do you think about using mirascope as panel, placing only small solar panel in the bottom of it and instead of upper oval mirror install one-way mirror (real one way transmission material can be achieved with use of quantum mechanics) ?
+bondt3 not really true for the last 20+ years. american corporations came up with an idea now called "pre-patenting".
a system in which they claim patent for a design or innovation they havnt and/or cant actually create yet, just so they can rape inventors in the courts when a way of creating the item is found somewhere.