Scientists in China have developed an innovative solar panel technology that could turn raindrops into electric power.
The new solar cell design, which can be “triggered” by both rain and sun, is described in a paper published in the Angewandte Chemie journal.
“All-weather solar cells are promising in solving the energy crisis,” explain the scientists from Ocean University of China and Yunnan Normal University, noting that the technology combines an electron-enriched graphene electrode with a dye-sensitized solar cell. “The new solar cell can be excited by incident light on sunny days and raindrops on rainy days,” they add.
File photo – People walk past the solar panels at a wind and solar energy storage and transmission power station of State Grid Corporation of China, in Zhangjiakou of Hebei province, China, March 18, 2016. (REUTERS/Jason Lee)
Dye-sensitized solar cells are thin-film photovoltaic cells that harness organic dyeto absorb sunlight and produce electrons, thereby creating energy.
The new technology could guide the design of advanced all-weather solar cells, according to the scientists.
“We would like to create a solar cell that can produce electricity on both sunny and rainy days,” explained Ocean University of China Professor Qunwei Tang, who is the paper’s lead author, in an email to FoxNews.com. “We believe the all-weather solar cell will be used for families in future.”
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