A Cheaper New Technology for Solar Power

As I usually do, I will say the last thing first, because this one is really striking:

“The energy that reaches earth from sunlight in one hour is more than that used by all human activities in one year”

Wow, I didn’t know that! And they call them ‘high-tech’, all those internal combustion engine cars, turbo diesels, and even hybrids.. It’s all the same crap!

For those who are expecting to see the days finally this abundant source of energy will be widely used on earth, I have good news!

Massey University’s Nanomaterials Research Centre is presenting a newly developed technology that will have cheaper initial costs for solar electric power production, making it more accessible to home owners.

Although it still is in the development phase, the technology is inspired by plants, and it is promising to be 10 times cheaper and much more effective than silicon based photo-electric solar cells.

Dr Wayne Campbell and researchers in the centre have developed a range of coloured dyes for use in dye-sensitised solar cells. The green dye uses a synthetic chlorophyll, a derivative of the light-harvesting pigment plants use for photosynthesis.

Besides being cheaper, I believe that this dye-based technology has another major advantage: It has colour! So instead of the 80’s shiny solar panel looks dictated by the old technology, this one lets people free to choose colour, not only among shades of green, but also other tones too, although the non-greens being based on haemoglobin, the compound that give blood its colour (ahem!)…

Hopefully in our lifetime, instead of paying heating and electricity bills or filling the tanks of our vehicles with petrol, we will be able to use a “really-high-technology” in our autonomous houses that will enable us to use more efficiently the free energy offered by the sun, or travel in our electric powered super-silent vehicles in peace, as far as we desire, without killing each other -and ourselves- with the toxic fumes coming out of the exhausts, and the fear of running out of gas.

For further information, please visit the Massey University website:

http://masseynews.massey.ac.nz/2007/Press_Releases/04-04-07.html

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