can i get just a little bit of your hair?

Nepalese teen Invents cheap Solar Panel using human hair::humanhairsolar-1Did you know that melanin, the pigment in hair, is light sensitive and can be used as a conductor? Well, that’s what an 18 year old in Nepal recently discovered, and is now using human hair to replace silicon in solar panels. Since the price of hair is considerably cheaper than silicon, this enterprising youth may have just found abreakthrough technology to help bring down the cost of solar and give thousands of people in developing nations access to affordable renewable energy.

Wow. well this is cool! And.. also. kinda gross.

but that’s okay. I still am very impressed.

The panels themselves are 15 inches square and can produce 9V or 18W of power and cost around $38 to produce. Karki thinks that if they were mass produced though, they would cost half as much. In Nepal, human hair costs about 25¢ for half a kilo and can last for several months. Hair is also basically a renewable resource and can be replenished by the owner of the solar panel as it wears out. This low cost and low tech device could be a revolutionary step in solar power bringing down the cost of the technology, bringing power to the masses and using materials which are common to everyone in the  world.

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One Response to “can i get just a little bit of your hair?”
  1. Ben says:

    agreed. gross and cool. it’d be great if you can process hair to get melanin cheaply, or use animal byproducts.

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