Solar researchers in China have reportedly discovered a way to use raindrops as a source of energy for solar panels.
According to reports, Chinese engineers researching solar energy, have developed Graphene solar panels that have the ability to generate power using raindrops that land on the panels.
If the method proves true, this would allow for solar energy systems to generate even more power during cloudy / rainy weather periods when the sun is not visible.
How rain and graphene can power solar panels
The scientists out of the Ocean University of China in Qingdao, claim to have developed a method in which they use a thin film of graphene to separate the salt from rainwater. The salt, not the raindrops themselves, will form “positively charged ions bind to the layer of graphene and form a double layer called a pseudocapacitor. It will bond between the already-present electrons in the graphene and generate an electrical current.” According to Nature World News.
The scientists report a solar-to-electric 6.53 conversion rate from their solar panels.
For obvious reasons, if positives results continue to arise and this method becomes available to consumers, this would be an extremely important finding in terms of both clean energy and energy availability.
While solar energy systems are becoming increasingly more popular, places on earth with limited sunlight are not able to generate as much power from their systems. If a solar systems has the ability to use both solar and rain, it will open up infinite possibilities for renewable energy solutions.
What is Graphene?
Graphene is a layer of matter consisting of pure carbon. It is claimed to be the thinnest matter known to man measuring at only 1 atom thick.
Graphene prices have declined dramatically over the past couple of years. In 2013, a micrometer-sized speck of graphene was priced at over $1,000. Now, in 2017, graphene prices have dropped to about $0.10 per gram.