Harvest solar energy using Tomato

A
novel way of harvesting solar energy using Tomato is invented in India. The humble tomatoes could do much more than just spicing up your curry!
They can potentially light up your house using solar power.

Researchers
of Saurashtra University (SU) have invented a low-cost solar cell using a
mixture of tomato extract, carbon and titanium dioxide, a thin film of which
can generate solar power once pasted on glasses.


This
means even the glass windows of your house or car can be potential solar power
generators once this invention is scaled up commercially. They have also
received the provisional patent for this invention called carbon nano-dot based
lycopersicum solar cell from the Controller General of Patents, Design and
Trademarks, government of India.

“The
thin film of this mixture was pasted on the glasses that were connected with
the wires and bulb. Electricity was generated and bulb was lit up,” said
professor Nikesh Shah, one of the research team members who teach physics at
SU. 

Researchers say that the materials used in the development of this solar
cell are cheap and easily available while silicon that is used at preset in
solar panels is imported and costly. As per estimates, it costs about Rs eight
crore (including land cost) to generate one megawatt of solar power using
photo-volataic solar panels.

“The
materials used for making this solar cell are nearly 75% cheaper than silicon.
Moreover coal (for carbon) is also available in plenty here. Processing silicon
is very costly which makes the cost of of photo-volataic panels high,”
said Shah. Prof. Jaysukh Markna, head, nano-technology, VVP Engineering
College, said the invention has opened avenues for harvesting solar energy
using cheaper materials. “The next step will now be to work on increasing
the scale of using this chemical to generate solar energy in a big way,”
he said.

One
of the main purposes of the invention was to establish a solar power generation
method that is more efficient and cost effective using nano solar cell as
compared to conventional solar cell. (
Source:
TOI)

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