Saturday, August 10, 2013

Carbon: A Viable Option for Solar?

One of the common concerns with choosing solar energy as a resource is cost.  In the fall of 2012 Scientists at Stanford University announced that they created a cheaper substitute for pricey materials such as the silicon used in our conventional solar panels. 
This is the first time that a solar cell was constructed entirely of carbon, which is a plentiful resource.
The panels are created with a thin film that can be coated from solution. Meaning, it’s possible that these films can be coated onto buildings, cars or houses to generate electricity.
Normally, solar energy is made up of silicon panels which can be bulky and rigid.  They must be propped up and are manufactured at a high cost, even when homemade.
These solar carbon cells consist of a photo-active layer that absorbs sunlight between two electrons. The one downside to having all carbon is that the efficiency of the solar panel is not ideal.  As development and research continues there is hope for improvement.  Carbon would be way more durable than our current solar panels and would handle extreme weather.  Carbon is said to have the potential to deliver high performance at a low cost and therefore must be considered for future application.
See how all of this relates to Marty McFly's hover-board by following the link below.  While your there check out the video from Source Fed news' Elliot Morgan and Joe Bereta.  Their 1985 reference on the blockbuster classic Back to the Future movie is worth the click through. Here!

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