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Posted Wed Sep 9 2009: from Daily Mail, via Slashdot:
Teenager invents [$38] solar panel that could be solution to developing world's energy needs ... made from human hair
A new type of solar panel using human hair could provide the world with cheap, green electricity, believes its teenage inventor. Milan Karki, 18, who comes from a village in rural Nepal, believes he has found the solution to the developing world's energy needs. The young inventor says hair is easy to use as a conductor in solar panels and could revolutionise renewable energy. The hair replaces silicon, a pricey component typically used in solar panels, and means the panels can be produced at a low cost for those with no access to power, he explained.... Melanin, a pigment that gives hair its colour, is light sensitive and also acts as a type of conductor. Because hair is far cheaper than silicon the appliance is less costly.... The solar panel can charge a mobile phone or a pack of batteries capable of providing light all evening.
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