Energy extracted from raindrops. Hybrid solar cells
Acquiring electricity with photovoltaic cells is growing every year. This has contributed to a significant drop in the cost of theóin solar panels over the past decade. In many parts of the world, where it’s sunny almost year-round, this is ideal. However, what to do when the sun is not in abundance?
Researchers in Taiwan have developed a solution thatóre is to squeeze energy from the solar panels, even during rainy days. The hybrid photovoltaic cells they have achieved can extract energy from falling raindrops. The new technology is designed to prevent power drops from photovoltaic cells when the sun is not shining, but there is still a long way to go before its practical application.
The new device was demonstrated in a laboratory at Soochow University. Several layers of transparent polymer were placed on top of the photovoltaic panels. When raindrops fall on layers and then slide off, mechanical friction generates an electrostatic charge. The layers do not restrict the sun’s rays from reaching solar cells.
– Our device can generate electricity in any weather conditions during the day. Moreover, this device even provides electricity at night if it rains, said Baoquan Sun of Soochow University, author of a paper published on „ACS Nano”.
While this type of device seems to offer the added benefit of making solar panels more compact and efficient, currently the power generated by this device is low and needs to be much higher to create significant róThe difference in performance of such solar panels. Researchers have succeeded in achieving a voltage of 2.14V and a current of 33nA.
However, it should be noted that this is only the beginning of the road for this type of hybrid solar panels. The authors of the invention themselves say that as the device is improved, its capabilities will probably increase.