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