Rain means clouds and clouds mean less sunlight. That can mean bad news for most solar cells, but a new design can actually make use of rain drops that fall on its surface, allowing it to generate electricity even on a rainy day. Now, a group of researchers at the Ocean University of China in Quingdao are looking at combining super-thin graphene with solar panels to produce incredible results.
They believe that the world can easily extract energy using solar panels even when it’s raining or during nighttime with graphene solar panels. This capability is achieved through a chemical reaction that happens when water drops are introduced to graphene. Not just any old water drops will do, however. It’s rain water that the researchers are after, because it consists of various other chemicals, including salts—which can split up into positive and negative ions. The graphene sheets in place of ordinary panels separate the positively and negatively charged ions and in turn, generate electricity.
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