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Old 04-15-2016, 10:02 AM   #11
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solar panels generating electricity from rain

So, this story comes from a paper in a reputable science journal, Angewandte Chemie

Reference: Q. Tang, X. Wang, P. Yang, B. He, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 5243.
A Solar Cell That Is Triggered by Sun and Rain - Tang - 2016 - Angewandte Chemie International Edition - Wiley Online Library (paywall, or talk to your local science librarian)

This story is based on real measurements in the laboratory. However, the time from laboratory study to adoption ranges from years to infinity (i.e. never happens), with the latter being more probable. It's a neat idea. It likely will never come to commercial fruition.

Some notes from the paper:

1.) The salt concentrations used for the rainwater solutions are significantly higher than regular rainwater.

The tests used solutions with a concentration of 0.6, 1.0 and 2.0 moles NaCl / litre water. The most dilute solution (0.6 moles NaCl / litre) requires ~36 g of salt (more than an ounce) dissolved in 4 cups of water. This is roughly the concentration of seawater.

In contrast, typical rainwater has a concentration of ~10 mg Na+ / litre (0.0004 moles NaCl / L), or a concentration about 1,500 times lower than the lowest concentration used for this text.

2.) The rainwater active surface is on the back-side of the solar panel: "On rainy days, the new solar cells can be reversed with [the] rGO film upward, creating current and voltage outputs under the persistent dropping of raindrops."

So, not conventional mounting

3.) The power output is low, on the order of picowatts. I'm not going to make a quantitative comparison to silicon photovoltaics, as power output should scale with area, and I don't know the area used for these studies.

I'm more excited about the science than I am the possible technology, but that's an occupational hazard for me. I'm a physical chemist with conventional silicon photovoltaics on my trailer

Stephen
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Old 04-15-2016, 10:28 AM   #12
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Remember when phones used wires in the wall and computers used DOS?
If I were in charge of it I would tell my people I don't give a damn about the itsy-bitzy nano-details, just get back to me when you've found a way to get it done.
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Old 04-15-2016, 10:38 AM   #13
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The first and second laws of thermodynamics are much more patient than you are...


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Old 04-15-2016, 10:56 AM   #14
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Interesting concept. Couldn't get to the article to read it, but I wonder if they have developed actual cells that work or is it still theory. Will it go into production and is it commercially viable are the next to questions.
Like all new technology if they build and market it, we won't be able to afford it initially and then the pricing will slowly drop. It would be an awesome advancement if it comes to fruition. The biggest issue right now is to get the utility companies to stop blocking the deployment of the technology we have. Solar should already be deployed on way more rooftops then it currently is.
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:07 AM   #15
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I'm afraid that I have to be a wet blanket. The laboratory test unit produced a low amount of power at the salt water concentrations similar to, and higher than that of seawater. In a real device, this output would only be realized when camping in the surf spray at a beach in the midst of a storm!

I would be worried about corrosion at the very least!
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:19 AM   #16
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Might work well on Submarines.....
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:21 AM   #17
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I wonder what the dive depth is on a two-piece molded fibreglass submarine, and would this be affected by awning choice?

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Might work well on Submarines.....
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:36 AM   #18
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Lol, cheers!
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:39 AM   #19
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When I first started working, my adding machine had a pull lever and was portable as it did not plug in. If you wanted a copy of something you used carbon paper and typed really hard on the keys. Remember those cash registers where the amount was punched in and the lever pulled on the side tamp the drawer open? This was considered modern then, my how we have progressed.
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:33 PM   #20
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Remember when phones used wires in the wall and computers used DOS?
If I were in charge of it I would tell my people I don't give a damn about the itsy-bitzy nano-details, just get back to me when you've found a way to get it done.
Hi: MyronL... Remember when telephones were a wooden box with a crank on the side? Two long and a short were the rings for us!!!
Now we have cameras that you can talk into. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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