10 Sep '12, 7pm

New solar cell draws power from spinach: #PopeyePower

New solar cell draws power from spinach: #PopeyePower

“Scientists figure out a way to get energy out of new non-coal thing” is getting to be a pretty common story, and so far none of it has revolutionized our power grid. But this one serves a dual purpose: It can make solar panels cheaper and more efficient, plus vegetable-pushing parents can point to it and say “don’t you want to grow big and strong, just like the solar cell that powers your GameCube?” Because the secret ingredient in this new tech is spinach . The new solar cells, developed by researchers at Vanderbilt University, collect the sun’s energy using a combination of silicon and PS1, the protein that helps spinach photosynthesize. “Biohybrid” (i.e., part plant) cells like this one use cheap and widely available materials, plus they make use of plants’ natural talent for converting light into energy — PS1′s efficiency is nearly 100 percent. Typically, biohybrid ce...

Full article: http://grist.org/list/new-solar-cell-draws-power-from-spi...

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