Regenerative Solar Cells More Efficient

Interesting, and of course, discovered by scientists at MIT: “Plants counteract the damaging effects of the sun by constantly rebuilding their photosynthetic parts. To mimic this, a team led by Michael Strano at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology created a solar cell using light-harvesting proteins, lipids and carbon nanotubes. These stick together and the nanotubes channel electrons generated by the proteins to an external circuit.  When a surfactant is added, these components break apart, reassembling only once it is removed. By repeating this process every 32 hours, the team found that after a week, the solar cell was 300 per cent more efficient than one that wasn’t regenerated.”

Semi-related: From Kottke: “Engineers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado have devised an air conditioning unit that could use up to 90% less energy than a conventional unit.”

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