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Old 04-09-2016, 11:03 AM   #1
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New Hope for Cloudy Rainy Days

Here is a new solar panel that is being tested that will create power from raindrops.

Future Solar Panels Will Generate Energy From Raindrops -

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Old 04-09-2016, 11:39 AM   #2
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OK, I only gave the article a first blush quick look but I don't get it. Nothing new there.

A typical solar panel has a layer of glass as the top layer. To my knowledge there isn't any connection between the exterior top surface and the output. Exactly where is all this power from raindrops being transmitted?

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Old 04-09-2016, 11:53 AM   #3
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"When you have rainy days or a lot of cloud cover, there is only so much energy that panels can store for later use. While engineers and material scientists have been able to make their efficiency far better over the years, with solar panels that store decent amounts of energy to be used when sun is not readily available, there has never quite been a development like the one discovered this year".

I wasn't aware that solar panels store energy. Thought that's what batteries are for.
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Old 04-09-2016, 12:31 PM   #4
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Looks like the actual water creates the electricity, or it's movement across the panel, something like that. Nothing there about storing it, more like produce it.
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Old 04-09-2016, 12:56 PM   #5
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TNSTAAFL (There's no such thing as a free lunch):
The press release appears to describe another snake-oil process,
that takes established well-based theory, and makes extensions into
the unattainable ("quantum leaps", my Mathematical Physics prof. used to frequently say) Ultimately, we're trying to capture solar energy
and convert it to usable electrical energy. It's the last step
that's in question.

Edit: Perhaps I should have put :"Warning, cynic reply follows!"
as a header.
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Old 04-09-2016, 01:20 PM   #6
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This is how it works, a copy and paste from another web site. I guess if we all were cynical then we wouldn't even have solar panels right now.

"By coating a solar cell in a thin layer of graphene, researchers have the technology to turn raindrops into electricity. Graphene is prized by materials scientists for its wide variety of benefits, one of them being conductivity. The one-atom-thick layer of carbon atoms allows a plethora of electrons to move freely across its surface. In water solutions, graphene binds positively charged ions with its electrons — a process known as the Lewis acid-base interaction.
Because raindrops contain salts, which dissociate into ions, precipitation and graphene make an ideal electricity-producing pair. The rain’s positively charged ions — including sodium, calcium, and ammonium ions — adhere to the graphene surface and form a double layer with the graphene’s electrons. The double layer is known as a pseudocapacitor, and the potential energy difference between the two layers is strong enough to generate an electric current."


Apparently this will work in conjunction with incident light on sunny days

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Old 04-09-2016, 02:30 PM   #7
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Solar panels don't store energy. I can see how a writer with insufficient technical knowledge could confuse storage associated with a solar system with the panels themselves, or how an editor could take a valid statement and make it into this crap, but the storage statement does show that this online publication is not a serious scientific reference. Obviously no competent person proof-read the final article.

It seems that the innovation is combining a common photovoltaic ("solar") panel with a battery; the two are unrelated except that the same sheet of glass is used as the top cover over the solar panel and one side of the battery. The idea is that the battery is powered by rainwater (the water must be replenished to continue to generate power, so it's a type of fuel cell), so there is this nice balance of two sources which produce power at opposite times.

I doubt the battery works usefully in the real world, but if the science is sound (I didn't bother looking further into it) then it is worth checking out... and it would work without the solar panel, for those of you who live in Vancouver and see mostly rain, not sun.
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Old 04-09-2016, 02:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barry View Post
Here is a new solar panel that is being tested that will create power from raindrops.

Future Solar Panels Will Generate Energy From Raindrops -

Barry
Barry if I haven't mentioned before , you photographs are beautiful ! I am always willing to learn . I believe solar is going to improve , another reason not to fix to my roof what is out there now . Do portable and like Ron's idea on a mast too . Technology changes very fast . Pat
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Old 04-15-2016, 08:08 AM   #9
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I like it. Here's my take regarding rain potential and solar panels. If using a touch-sensitive computer screen translates your finger touching it into an impulse of energy that results in a reaction within the computer, is it a stretch to find a way to make that technology, the energy from them raindrops pounding down, convertable from the solar panel surface into stored electricity in the battery?
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Old 04-15-2016, 08:51 AM   #10
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Would it work better or less effectively with acid rain? So if a pump, running off the battery, was hooked up to a tank of water and pumped water to an elevated reservoir, then allowed water to flow back out over the panel, thereby producing more energy, going to the battery do we have the solution to the Worlds energy needs? How many of us would have believed the advancements we use every day if we had been shown today's world when we were kids?
Think about everything technological you've experienced since transistor radios. As the old timers would always say, " Well I'll be damned". Rita says "Deep"
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Old 04-15-2016, 09:02 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, 09:28 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, 09:38 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, 09:56 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, 10:07 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, 10:19 AM   #16
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Might work well on Submarines.....
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Old 04-15-2016, 10:21 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, 10:36 AM   #18
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Lol, cheers!
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Old 04-15-2016, 10:39 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, 11:33 AM   #20
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Quote:
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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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