Electric rain


Electric rain technology informs

This is just been released, scientists in China have developed an innovative solar panel technology that they say will turn raindrops into electricity. It is a new kind of solar cell design and can be triggered by either rain or sun, the first published report was in the Angewandte Chemie Journal. An all weather solar cell would be a great advance toward solving the energy crisis. This new solar cell is made using the technology that combines an electron enriched graphene electrode with a dye sensitized solar cell, this new cell can be excited by either incident light on sunny days or raindrops if it rains.

The standard current solar cells are mostly dye sensitized varieties, they use a thin film of photovoltaic cells that harness organic dye to absorb sunlight and produce electrons, that is how they create energy. This new design could further guide the advanced all weather solar cells technology according to the scientists who made it. Several attempts by news organizations like Fox to contact the paper's lead author, Ocean University of China Professor Qunwei Tang have so far failed. The science news Journal noted that by using the thin layer of highly conductive graphene the solar cell could effectively harness power from rain, the salt contained in the rain separates into ions of ammonium, calcium and sodium, making graphene and natural water a great combination for creating energy it reported.
The Journal went on to say that the water actually cleans to the graphene, forming a dual layer with the graphing electrons, which acts as a pseudo-capacitor. The energy difference between the layers is so great that this causes the generation of electricity. A senior research scientist and adjunct professor at Columbia University who did not participate in the paper told Fox news that this technology would have huge additional costs and he also had questions about the potential solar cell optical losses exceeding the benefits of the rain harvested electricity. If the costs factors could be overcome this type of solar cell could be used in climates not typically able to use standard Sun powered solar cells.
China of course is one of the world's major solar panel manufacturers and innovators, they expect significant increases in the use of the technology within their own country over the next two years, this is all designed to reduce the country's carbon emissions and to that aim China has set a goal of tripling its solar power output to as much as 143 GW by the year 2020. There are numerous US firms also heavily involved in solar panel innovation and technology, with the leader probably being SolarCity which was cofounded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk who announced that the company will be making its most cutting-edge solar panels within the United States. The company's main production facility where they are saying they will produce its most efficient rooftop solar panels is based in Buffalo New York and by all accounts is a huge production space, this facility will reach full capacity by the end of 2017.


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