(Digital Journal) Researchers in China have developed Graphene solar panels that can generate energy from raindrops. The solar panels with a respectable 6.53 percent solar-to-electric conversion efficiency allows generation of power during periods of clouds and rain.
The team of researchers from the Ocean University of China in Qingdao and Yunnan Normal University in Kunming have devised the method using a highly efficient dye-sensitized solar cell, coated with a thin film of graphene, on a transparent backing of indium tin oxide and plastic.
The technology works on the fact that rainwater isn’t pure: the droplets contain positively-charged salt ions of sodium, calcium and ammonia. When raindrops sits on top of a layer of graphene, it creates a ‘pseudocapacitor’, and the potential energy difference between the two layers is strong enough to generate an electric current.