Photosynthetic solar cell making sunlight fuel

Solar energy has got enough attention over the recent years considering it is environment friendly, easy to generate and can be generated for individual use. Considering the depletion of fossil fuels in the near future and most of the populous countries are located on both the sides of equator which gets enough sunlight throughout the year, countries, organizations and firms are working on tapping maximum solar output. You should know some of the breakthroughs in solar energy technology which would help us to tap solar energy all year round.

The developments in solar technology in the recent years are very significant in channelizing the energy need of many of the developed and developing countries. Researchers of University of New South Wales, Australia, made a significant breakthrough recently by developing photo-voltaic cells that convert 34.5% of the solar energy into electricity from the previous record of 24%. It should be noted that in the year 2000 it was just 11% efficiency.

The technology splits the sunlight into 4 components namely infra-red rays, red, green and blue lights with the help of prism, and passes it through 3 layers, where it gets maximum absorption and ensures greater efficiency. Another path-breaking invention is made by the researchers of University of Illinois. The team recently developed a photo-synthetic solar cell, that converts atmospheric carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon fuel by using sunlight.

Since this is working like an artificial leaf and uses carbon dioxide, it can effectively remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing a good quality and efficient fuel. Graphene solar cells need to be discussed next. A team from Ocean University of China has developed a new solar panel with thin graphene sheets in it which helps to generate electricity from rain drops. As we all know that rain water has many salts in it and hence has positive and negative ions.

The graphene sheets help to separate and accumulate these charged ions, and convert it to electricity. Initial experiments show that its electric-conversion efficiency is 6.53%. Further research and developments in the area might help us to harness electricity even while raining and at night. Environment friendly technology developments have to be highly encouraged, as it has the power to save the humanity and our planet. With great innovations, we can choose our destiny better.

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