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Teen invents £23 solar panel;could solve world's energy needs

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posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 03:45 PM
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A new type of solar panel using human hair could provide the world with cheap, green electricity, believes its teenage inventor.

Milan Karki, 18, who comes from a village in rural Nepal, believes he has found the solution to the developing world's energy needs.

The young inventor says hair is easy to use as a conductor in solar panels and could revolutionise renewable energy.


The hair replaces silicon, a pricey component typically used in solar panels, and means the panels can be produced at a low cost for those with no access to power, he explained.


'I'm trying to produce commercially and distribute to the districts. We've already sent a couple out to the districts to test for feasibility,' he said.

The solar panel, which produces 9 V (18 W) of energy, costs around £23 to make from raw materials.

But if they were mass-produced, Milan says they could be sold for less than half that price, which could make them a quarter of the price of those already on the market.

Melanin, a pigment that gives hair its colour, is light sensitive and also acts as a type of conductor. Because hair is far cheaper than silicon the appliance is less costly.

Read more: www.dailymail.co.uk...

Now that is an innovation. Human hair. Who would have thought?
Pretty darn cool.
I want one!


[edit on 8-9-2009 by warrenb]




posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 03:46 PM
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What comes from nature usually out shines anything humans have made. Just look at trees.



posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 03:52 PM
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I guess the hippies were on the right track, they grew it long, but didnt know what to do with it after they grew it.
So I guess there are plans online somewhere?



posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 03:55 PM
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Originally posted by robwerden
I guess the hippies were on the right track, they grew it long, but didnt know what to do with it after they grew it.
So I guess there are plans online somewhere?


Ya, Plans sound good! I would attempt to make one of these at home and report back!

Does the kid have any backing yet?



posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 04:01 PM
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u know an hour of sunlight hitting earth is more than the energy used by human's a year?

[edit on 8-9-2009 by platipus]



posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 04:05 PM
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Wow, this could be a major breakthrough!! I mean how many people would be willing to donate hair, or even sell hair to give us a new means of energy? I know I would!!



posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 04:11 PM
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Is there difference with different colored hair? This is probably right up the alley with ATS survivalist for their bugout location.



posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 04:20 PM
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Ok, I'll build one. Where do I get the plans? Of course the paranoid in me figures the inventor is about to experience some sort of accident.



posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 04:32 PM
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S+F, interesting concept, let's hope he can make it commercially viable, or even develop it along the lines of a DIY kit for the survival/outdoors crowd.


Half a kilo of hair can be bought for only 16p in Nepal and lasts a few months,


So ever few months you owuld have to replace the hair and rewire the panel? Still, if it could be done DIY fashion, you could have yourself a renewable energy source for recharging your batteries.



posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 04:34 PM
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Hopefully he can get this going without some huge corporation buying the patent and then filing it away in some Indiana Jones type warehouse.

A while back there was a news article on a company in the U.S. that figured out how to print out solar cells in similar manner to a inkjet printer. It was supposed to bring the cost of solar cells down to a very cheap price.

What the company did was use the technology to build it's own proprietary solar power plants that sell the electricity slightly cheaper then normal power plants.

I guess that's capitalism at it's finest. Screw the rest of the world let's make a profit. Don't know if I blame em'



[edit on 8-9-2009 by lucentenigma]



posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 04:48 PM
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Very cool!

I wonder if it only works with human hair...
I'd guess that other kinds of hair also contain melanin.
I don't know, anybody have an idea?



posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 05:29 PM
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Are you #ting me? Do you guys actually think that this is real? It's the DAILY MAIL.

Plants LIVE off of photosynthesis, and they only have a MAXIMUM of 3% efficiency.

Our pigments are only there to absorb necessary energy for warmth and some low power chemical reactions.


You will probably need a ton of hair to power a light bulb.



posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 07:54 PM
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Originally posted by lucentenigma
A while back there was a news article on a company in the U.S. that figured out how to print out solar cells in similar manner to a inkjet printer. It was supposed to bring the cost of solar cells down to a very cheap price.
[edit on 8-9-2009 by lucentenigma]


That would be Nanosolar. I consider them the good guys, even if they are holding tight and fast to their formula for the time being. They have a big announcement tomorrow, apprently. I am anxious to see what it is. Hope the don't Alex Jones us.
Nanosolar



posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 09:12 PM
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Originally posted by die_another_day
Are you #ting me? Do you guys actually think that this is real? It's the DAILY MAIL.

Plants LIVE off of photosynthesis, and they only have a MAXIMUM of 3% efficiency.

Our pigments are only there to absorb necessary energy for warmth and some low power chemical reactions.


You will probably need a ton of hair to power a light bulb.



I totally agree that this sounds fairly suspect.

Was this "new concept" developed in any leading industrialized country ? Nope ... in Nepal of all places !

And what possessed this kid to even THINK that human hair could be used to convert sunlight to electricity ? Not exactly the sort of idea that would occur easily and without a supporting experimental framework behind it.

I'm ready to call BS on this one.



posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 09:29 PM
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What!? It's a hoax?? I just shaved my head!

Dailymail, you #$^#!!!



posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 09:31 PM
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Thanks for the post.
Very good find indeed! Now we need to get some plans how to build it.



posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 06:19 AM
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I make a bet that the patent is bought up soon by an oil company ..and will be stored away for ever.............

nothing beats the system...



posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 06:44 AM
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Oh, I can see a great conspiracy coming.... Some big company will buy up the rights, and suddenly we all will get mysteriously balded in our sleep.



posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 07:01 AM
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This reality has intelligent design written all over it and this is simply another example of that fact. You can't beat nature, anything we need is simply staring us in the face, unfortunately most of the time we are too ignorant to see it. I sincerely wish them all the best with their discovery.



posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 07:07 AM
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reply to post by tauristercus
 


Please explain why something invented in Nepal is a reason to believe that this story is fake? I think that it would take a lot of ingenuity to think up an idea like this, and ingenuity isn't restricted to developed countries only. A person with less would be more likely to come up with interesting ways to use available resources when then don't have access to the hi tech stuff.

Everything that is invented doesn't need to be invented in North America and Europe, whom I doubt would be interested in looking in to human hair solar power as its not a "sexy" science(and probably wouldn't get you the big bucks when it comes to grants), but now that its been demonstrated to work(read the article) I bet a lot more people take notice.
There is more than just the dailymail carrying this as well which to me seemed to be a down to earth paper, Cnet and Wired both have articles aswell:

www.wired.co.uk...
asia.cnet.com...



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