Saturday, January 21, 2006

Portable Personal Solar Cells

In the light of the much hyped peak oil doomsday scenario, I sure do enjoy posting something that brings light in the darkness foretold by peak oil doomers from time to time.

Peak oil doomers would have you believe there won't be a techno fix for the world's energy problems, and that our civilization will collapse as oil supplies start dwindling, supposedly a few years from now.

This is only one of the reasons why the peak oil doomsday argument is flawed at the core. It's not my job to debunk peak oil doomsday, however. We already have Peak Oil Debunked for that, which is run by one of my loyal blog fans. ;)

So go read that one if you want to find out why peak oil doomsday is a load of crock.

Let's have a look at how solar power will start to enter the mainstream in the near future...

Portable Personal Solar Cells:

AUSTRALIAN scientists are using nanotechnology to develop portable personal solar cells that can recharge laptops and mobile phones.

...

Nano scientists at the university are using a flexible polymer sheet that can be rolled up and taken anywhere to charge communications devices.

The technology is 100 nanometres (a nanometre is a billionth of a metre) thick, weighs just 10 micrograms per square centimetre and uses a cheap composite material made from carbon nanotubes one-tenth the thickness of a human hair, and conductive polymer.

...

"You could have a tent that has this flexible conductive polymer as part of its fabric," he said.

"It could be passively absorbing light and converting that light to electricity."

Mr Waclawik said the polymer may also be a viable alternative to expensive, heavy and delicate silicon solar cells.

"You could imagine a mobile phone, for instance, where the back of the case might be made of a photovoltaic plastic, so you could be charging the battery just by sitting out in the sun," he said.

Between $200,000 and $300,000 had been spent on the project, which was probably several years away from commercialisation, Mr Waclawik said.

"If it can boost the efficiency, the cost of generating the electricity starts to be competitive with other forms," he said.

So there ya have it. Ofcourse, a few personal portable solar cells for recharging mobile phones aren't enough to save the world... but the bold printed statement in the quotation above should make it obvious to anybody why this particular development is important.

To sum it all up: there will be a nanotechno fix for the world's energy problems.


More posts by me on solar power:

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

2 comments:

CellphoneSavant said...

Thanks for the article. I am new to your blog and i like what I see. I look forward to your future work.

Jan-Willem Bats said...

Another returning visitor to add to my repertoire.

That's the spirit! ;)