Close Log in with or
Register here
Forgot password

Register with or
* Required fields
your profile is 33% complete:
Update profile Close
#Solar panels which generate energy out of rain.
#Solar panels which generate energy out of rain.
Energy Energy General

New hybrid solar panels also draw energy from rain

New solar panels will also generate energy if the sun does not shine and even if it rains. The practical elaboration will probably take a few more years to come, but the hybrid technology is now somewhat more advanced. Solar energy is more and more popular worldwide, thanks to the sharp fall in prices during the last decade of solar panels that generate energy. The disadvantage is still that no sunlight equals no energy. At night, production is quiet anyway.
Raindrops gey
Photo: Adobe Stock

Solar panels and rain

A new technology has been proposed at the Chinese University of Soochow, which places two transparent polymer layers on top of a photovoltaic solar cell. When raindrops fall on the layers and then roll off, the friction generates static electricity. "Our device can always generate electricity during the day, in any type of weather," said Baoquan Sun of the University of Soochow. "In addition, it can generate power even at night when it rains."

The technology

Known as tribo-electric nanogenerator (Teng) - is not new in itself and has been used in solar panels before. But the design is new and a lot simpler and more efficient than the already existing one. Because one of the two polymer layers serves as an electrode for both the Teng and the solar cell. The device therefore also weighs a lot less.
Hand with blue glove touching a TENG
A proof of concept triboelectric nanogenerator produces electrical charges for a mass spectrometer.

Return even higher

"In the future, we want to integrate this into mobile and flexible devices, such as electronic clothing," says Sun. "The efficiency of the output power needs to be further improved before it can be put into practice." Sun expects to be able to develop a prototype of its product within three to five years.

Getting power from wind

Other Chinese researchers have already placed Tengs on solar cells in the past to extract electricity from wind. According to Sun, his device can also handle that technology. The hybrid solar panels could come in handy in our rainy and cloudy country. But everything depends on how much energy they can extract from raindrops.