Scientists Develop Liquid Solar Cells

Liquid Solar Cells

Many alternatives to building solar cells have already been discovered, such as using spinach, but some recent discoveries by scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) invented a new type of solar cell made from nanocrystals.

These nanocrystals are apparently so tiny that you can fit 250 billion of them on a head of a pin, which is relevant because they can be made into an ink and then painted or printed on other surfaces. Theoretically you’ll be able to paint for example a plastic or even paper surface which would be able to gather solar power, and I’m sure you don’t need me to say how many possible benefits and practical applications this may have. These nano solar cells are not only convenient but also cheaper to produce than traditional silicon solar cells in use today.

“While the commercialization of this technology is still years away, we see a clear path forward toward integrating this into the next generation of solar cell technologies,” said Richard L. Brutchey, assistant professor of chemistry at USC. “…like you print a newspaper, you can print solar cells.”

There are a couple of downsides to this new discovery, as there always is. First these solar cells aren’t able to gather sunlight efficiently, and second the cadmium selenide coating used for them is toxic and can’t be used commercially. However it’s very likely that scientists will continue discovering alternatives to cadmium coating and improving the technology further, and in a few decades this will likely be a reality with everyday use.

The Pros and Cons of Solar Panels

House with solar panels

Solar Panels are getting more popularity than any other alternative renewable energy source all around the world. Not only is it being used for mass power generation but also by domestic households, and is one of the major power sources of the future. Let us examine its pros and cons:

Solar panelsPros

  • The solar panels are one of the most cost-effective energy sources on planet earth, once installed and working.
  • Solar panels have no maintenance cost at all, other than periodic cleaning of the panels.
  • Solar panels are very easy to install, and do not require a lot of space. They can even be installed on top of houses. Furthermore, they are also appearing as the convenient solar panel house tiles, which actually integrate them into the structure of the house.
  • In contrast to other power sources, solar panels don’t even make a decibel of noise.
  • There are no moving parts involved, which means no wear and tear.
  • Using solar panels harness the energy of the sun, which will remain to be Nature’s most powerful energy source for the Earth. Solar panel technology can actually convert its energy into electricity and can be especially useful in certain geographical regions of the Earth, which receive more sunlight.
  • By using solar panels, you can create sufficient amounts of energy to fulfill the requirements of your household, and you could also benefit from a net-metering incentive, which may vary for different states and localities.

Cons

  • As solar panels require sunlight to produce electricity, they work only as long as the sun is out in full glow.
  • Environmental pollution can create a hindrance to their performance.
  • The performance of solar panels could be dependant on the geographical location.
  • The performance of solar panels could be affected by weather.

The Potential of Solar and Wind Energy

Stay greenAs the awareness about the dangerous effects of global warming and green house gas emissions increase, and the nations of the world feel threatened by the possible depletion of fossil resources in the future, the emphasis on alternate and renewable energy sources has been greater than ever. At the dawn of the 21st century, as the human civilization enters the age of information technology, electricity has become the spinal chord of the economy of the new age.

From the banking and the financial system of the world, to running even the smallest gadget found in every household, power is central to even the most trivial activities (day-to-day) of the human society. In such a scenario, each and every individual is dependent on this powerful resource, which has become a powerful determinant of the direction of global economy. And there is hardly any need to mention the importance of resources that are used to generate the resource of resources, that is, electricity. In order to strike a balance between the renewable and economical nature of sources of production, and the preservation and protection of environment, solar energy and wind energy have emerged to be considered the most efficient and adoptable by the nations of the world.

And as power generation by the usage of solar and wind energy commences on a commercial and institutional scale, innovations in these technologies are also opening to be explored by the masses. Till a very long time, the investment required to make use of these almost cost-free modes of power generation prevented the penetration of general public.

However, innovative do-it-yourself guides like Earth4Energy are changing the relationships of the masses with electricity production. With the passage of time, such devolution of technology would transform the economy of the new age forever. More and more people are benefiting from it every day and are enjoying the pleasure of one of the most important resources on the planet, that is, electricity.