06 Feb '12, 3pm

MIT Designing Solar Panels Out of Plant Cells

MIT Designing Solar Panels Out of Plant Cells

MIT researcher Andreas Mershin is digging in to a new way to create cheap, effective solar panels. Building off work started by Shuguang Zhang of MIT’s Center for Biomedical Engineering, Mershin is working on how to take the molecules responsible for photosynthesis in plants (PS-I) and put them to work on solar panels, and to do so in such a way that any lab anywhere in the world could replicate the process. MIT reports , "The new system’s efficiency is 10,000 times greater than in the previous version — although in converting just 0.1 percent of sunlight’s energy to electricity, it still needs to improve another tenfold or so to become useful, he says." Mershin states that improving efficiency means getting more of the PS-I substrate exposed to the sun, and he thinks the key to this is to mimic pine trees in a forest, the needles of which are the ideal shape for getting t...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/solar-technology/mit-designing-...

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