Ever Thought That Tomatoes Could Generate Solar Energy? Some Researchers in Rajkot Did!


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Researches of Saurashtra University in Rajkot have used tomato extracts to develop a solar cell which is much cheaper when compared to the presently used solar panels. Here is more. 

Turns out that tomato, besides being loved for its taste, can also be used to produce electricity. Researchers of Saurashtra University in Rajkot have invented a low cost solar cell with tomatoes as a part of the raw materials.

The solar cell is made by using a mixture of tomato extract, carbon and titanium dioxide. A thin film of the mixture, if applied on glass windows, has the potential to generate solar power.

tomato

Source: Flickr

According to professor Nikesh Shah, one of the research team members, when a film of the mixture was pasted on a glass pane which was connected with wires and a bulb, it generated electricity and lit up the bulb.

The researchers are calling this invention the carbon nano-dot based lycopersicum solar cell. They have received a provisional patent for the same from the Controller General of Patents, Design and Trademarks, Government of India.

As the raw materials required for it are cheap and easily available, the cell, when commercially produced, will also be low cost. Presently, the silicon used in solar panels has to be imported and is also very costly. The materials used in this case are almost 75 percent cheaper in comparison.

“The next step will now be to work on increasing the scale of using this chemical to generate solar energy in a big way,” said Prof. Jaysukh Markna, head of nano-technology, VVP Engineering College, to the Times of India.

This innovation builds hope for better, renewable and cheaper sources of energy in the future.

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