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Scientists discover tiny solar panels that create themselves

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posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 12:58 PM

Scientists discover tiny solar panels that create themselves

File this one under "holy crap," but scientists at MIT have discovered molecules that spontaneously assemble themselves into a pattern that can turn light into electricity — essentially a self-creating solar panel. In a petri dish.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 12:58 PM
I love news like this. If this can be scaled up, the costs of solar panel production could be greatly reduced. Self-assembling parts turns nature into a factory working for us!

It also appears to be recyclable with 100% efficiency (I don't think the panels are 100%, just the recycling and reassembling of them)
(visit the link for the full news article)

+2 more 
posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 01:25 PM
I think it's a wonderful discovery. Too bad we'll never hear about this again. The technique will get patented and bought by a large energy company (BP/Exxon/Etc.) and that's the last we'll see of it.

Normal solar was allowed to market because it was never a viable threat.

Again, not trying to be a downer, just keepin' it real.

posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 01:32 PM
I love hearing about these new scientific findings which seem to disappear after the first wave of articles and never return to spotlight again. Unfortunately I am not excited about this stuff anymore because I know that big oil will root out anything that stands to challenge it.

posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 01:45 PM
Made me think of photosynthesis, fireflies, stuff like that.

And yep, they were trying to copy nature. very cool.


posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 02:06 PM
When we copy how nature does things, we are usually copying the most efficient methods available. Nature has had billions of years of trial and error to find the best ways of doing things. Much longer than we have had. If we can build on nature's experience by copying its marvels, we can truly accomplish some miraculous things.

posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 02:47 PM
Who needs solar panels?

This could be used to make a solar paint, both protecting houses from the sun and absobing the sun's energy to power the house. -Far more efficient than a few panels on the roof.

posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 08:11 PM
Coat every surface you can. Solar houses, solar cars, solar driveways, etc...

I have always been fascinated with self organizing systems, especially at the nano scale

posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 08:47 PM
reply to post by BomSquad

what a fantastic find. in a few years maybe you'll be able to go the store and by a box of grow your own solar panels! I love it. S n F

posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 09:37 PM
reply to post by frozenspark

You're probably right. I can think of three stories I've read in the past couple years about new breakthroughs for solar panels, but after the initial story, it just disappears. There was one about a 12 year old kid who came up with a new design that was WAY more efficient than current ones, MIT had discovered a new material for panels, and even a Pakistani kid who made one out of human hair! I think I have some of them saved somewhere, if anyone wants to see.

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 10:44 AM
reply to post by harrytuttle

The conspiracy theorist in me agrees with you, however my logical side actually is surprised to find that I disagree. You see, I have quite a few friends working in "green" fields (solar, wind, geothermal, grey water reclamation systems, etc.) and from what I hear solar installation companies (at least the one my buddy works for) can't keep enough solar panels in stock, even at the ridiculous price they cost today in our fledgling economy. So I disagree, this technology (if actually practical) will not be buried in my opinion, although big oil may try to exploit solar panel prices or instead of selling you the panels they may do a lease option like some companies do now.

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 10:52 AM
would benice to see some of those older posts again i remember some of them myself, and i do wonder now what happened to the inventors and inventions too, it does seem that there is a monopoly on energy by big companies stopping all alternative energies and fuels, or maybe they just buying it all up for when the oil runs out and then they own and control the next sources of fuel and energy supplies?

There should be a forum on these discoveries and how they seem to just disappear would make good reading, i remember reading about the TV that could display 2 images at same time on one screen and sound with each of the images, one person sat like on couch in a room and another sat other side room and both could watch TV they wanted and hear what was going on but both only saw and heard what program they was watching only.

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 11:05 AM
reply to post by Kailassa

Think...paint the antarctic with it...the energy produced, can be used to power huge refrigeration units to freeze the water, and preserve the global ocean and air currents.

It would take money and commitment, but what use is money without a species to spend or accept it?!

Textiles with the stuff interwoven, cars/buses/trucks covered in it, in fact everywhere really.

Energy crisis? Only if 'they' want there to be. Overpopulation Vs. Dwindling resources? Only if 'they' want there to be.

[edit on 8/9/2010 by spikey]

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 11:14 AM
Just discovered? Really?
I think that they have no choice now but to come clean with what they “really” know.
I mentioned all of this in earlier threads and replies.
slowly but surely all will be revealed.
Cancer cures
Disorders and most ailments
Clean/free energy where those that profit will no longer control the masses
Transport out with the old in with the new. ( Air, rail, automotive recalls and strikes)
Truth behind what's going on up there and planets a little closer to home with life. Mars for instance.

Keep your minds open.

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 11:45 AM
Where can I buy some?

That seems to be the bottom line to whether it is mass produced for the public or not. If there is a market for a product, someone will fill it.

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 12:41 PM
What would be really interesting would be if they could make this in different colors to make it more aesthetically pleasing. That could improve adoption of the product (if it ever makes it far enough to become a product).

This could also be interesting for spacecraft. Instead of solar panels sticking out from the spacecraft, just coat the whole darn thing in "solar panel paint". You may still need some conventional solar panels, but they could probably be smaller and save on spacecraft weight.

There are so many interesting things you could do with a material like this, if it performs as advertised.

I wonder what the cost of the raw materials is, and how difficult it would be to mass produce them. If it is not economically feasible, no matter how cool it is, it will never get produced.

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 02:44 PM
reply to post by BomSquad

Awesome find! A potential game changer. Give this technology a decade or two to mature.

I can't wait to turn my flower bed into a power generator.

Hell, we can probably turn our clothes into a power generator that will power all of our nifty gadgets we carry on ourselves.

Scary part is when the technology develops so advanced that a human can be used as a mobile EMP bomb. Too scary to ponder. But it would be awesome to have the ability to throw electric bolts at your enemies.

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 02:49 PM
I have thought about pop out wind generators for electric cars. They would pop out when the car is going fast enough to generate power, then pop back in when you slow down or just a manual switch to pop them in and out. I figure there would be power generation for longer trips without stopping to recharge.

If the coating on the outside of the car could also generate power to recharge the batteries, it possibly could drive without a grid. It sounds like this technique is fairly efficient.

If you take one household using $6,000.00 a year for 50 years of power, that comes to $300,000.00 a family will use, give or take a few dollars. A city of 100,000 households using an average of $1,500.00 a year will generate 15 million dollars of revenue for an electric company for that year. That is if energy costs don't spike up during the summer or winter depending on where you live. A wind generator, batteries and a house coated with this would likely cost less than $50,000 and even incorporated into the original building would not likely cost much more to put a new energy efficient home on the market, with the technology we have today.

There is no will by government to make builders do it, even though there is a market for the product It becomes easier for a home buyer to go with the flow by buying what is available when they want to buy something.

With all the things produced in China these days and the fact that China can produce anything they set their sights on, to any quality the person paying the bill wants, I can't see this and other things not becoming common. The main restriction now is the desire of the fake manufacturing companies to make huge profits by subbing their manufacturing out to China while still increasing market prices. The auto industry is a great example of this. They just bolt the sub structures together here. All the real manufacturing is done in China at 10 cents on the dollar. That is why the auto manufacturers are back in the black so quickly. Most private companies would have expired or taken a lifetime to crawl back from something like the auto industry suffered. They were just wasting money at too fast a pace, which is why they needed bailouts when the market went askew.

All we need is for people to start putting 2 and 2 together, and finding the answer to be 4 rather than 20.

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 04:36 PM

Originally posted by win 52
I have thought about pop out wind generators for electric cars. They would pop out when the car is going fast enough to generate power, then pop back in when you slow down or just a manual switch to pop them in and out. I figure there would be power generation for longer trips without stopping to recharge.

Great idea, except they'd have to be made to airplane standards. Imagine a blade falling off at full speed on a highway. Not to mention the dangers to pedestrians. It would also create a huge amount of drag, so I would wonder about the final gain. Integrated solar panels, which should have little impact on the cars performance, is much nicer in theory.

Though both techniques are just expensive workarounds that serve little to no point. If we employed what we know today to make an electric car that can go say 300km and charge in minutes, we wouldnt need to spend 20 years perfecting self creating solar panels to stick to them - In 20 years that performance would probably have dubbled or more by going further on existing technology. And for the juice this require, we need something FAR FAR more efficient than solar power - fusion. Again, gathering the second hand rays from the sun is just a silly concept when we can make our own sun.

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 05:12 PM
reply to post by merka

It would also create a huge amount of drag

Not if you placed the wind energy device behind a small aerofoil arrangement.

The drag would be mitigated and 'smoother' air would be directed into the turbine.

A box arrangement containing a series of foils could work.

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