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How to turn just about anything into a solar panel

March 3, 2016

Ubiquitous Energy, a spinoff of MIT, has created a coating made of organic molecules that absorb the sun’s ultraviolet and infrared rays.

If you are like me, then you are always looking for new ways to live a greener, more energy-efficient life. (And looking for an alternative energy source for when the zombie apocalypse happens.) Imagine a world where iPhones could charge themselves just from being in the sunlight. In this new world, your windows would provide power for your entire home, and the finish on your car would also power it. Sound too good to be true? It might not be.

According to Popular Science: "Ubiquitous Energy, a spinoff of MIT, has created a coating made of organic molecules that absorb the sun’s ultraviolet and infrared rays. Since the light isn’t in the visible range (for humans), the coating appears clear. The material doubles as a semiconductor: When photons hit the surface, they excite electrons that flow as an electrical current to power the device."

Devices with the coating are anticipated to convert solar energy into electricity with 10 percent efficiency.

To learn more, read "Turn Your Smartphone Into A Solar Panel" from Popular Science.

About the Author

Alexis Gajewski | Senior Content Strategist

Alexis Gajewski has over 15 years of experience in the maintenance, reliability, operations, and manufacturing space. She joined Plant Services in 2008 and works to bring readers the news, insight, and information they need to make the right decisions for their plants. Alexis also authors “The Lighter Side of Manufacturing,” a blog that highlights the fun and innovative advances in the industrial sector. 

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