Harvest solar energy using Tomato

Harvest solar energy using Tomato

A novel way of harvesting solar energy using Tomato is invented in India. The humble tomatoes could do much more than just spicing up your curry! They can potentially light up your house using solar power.

Researchers of Saurashtra University (SU) have invented a low-cost solar cell using a mixture of tomato extract, carbon and titanium dioxide, a thin film of which can generate solar power once pasted on glasses.


This means even the glass windows of your house or car can be potential solar power generators once this invention is scaled up commercially. They have also received the provisional patent for this invention called carbon nano-dot based lycopersicum solar cell from the Controller General of Patents, Design and Trademarks, government of India.

"The thin film of this mixture was pasted on the glasses that were connected with the wires and bulb. Electricity was generated and bulb was lit up," said professor Nikesh Shah, one of the research team members who teach physics at SU. 

Researchers say that the materials used in the development of this solar cell are cheap and easily available while silicon that is used at preset in solar panels is imported and costly. As per estimates, it costs about Rs eight crore (including land cost) to generate one megawatt of solar power using photo-volataic solar panels.

"The materials used for making this solar cell are nearly 75% cheaper than silicon. Moreover coal (for carbon) is also available in plenty here. Processing silicon is very costly which makes the cost of of photo-volataic panels high," said Shah. Prof. Jaysukh Markna, head, nano-technology, VVP Engineering College, said the invention has opened avenues for harvesting solar energy using cheaper materials. "The next step will now be to work on increasing the scale of using this chemical to generate solar energy in a big way," he said.

One of the main purposes of the invention was to establish a solar power generation method that is more efficient and cost effective using nano solar cell as compared to conventional solar cell. (Source: TOI)

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