Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Very ecoCLEVER Science Project: A Solar Panel Made from Human Hair.

My Uncle M forwarded this article to me yesterday from DVICE with the message:

"With your longer hair I think you could power a city!"

My hair is at its longest these days. Part laziness for booking a haircut, part economical and well a much bigger part that I have become quite fond of long hair :) But back to the topic at hand.... Full excerpt from DVICE article:

A schoolboy from Nepal has come up with a recession-busting new solar panel which replaces the silicon component with human hair. Milan Karki, an 18-year-old student from the region of Khotang, devised the idea after discovering that hair pigment Melanin acts as an energy converter.

Each panel, which is around 15 inches square, produces 9 Volts (18 Watts) of energy, and costs $38 to make. This, it has to be said, is mainly due to the price of the raw materials: half a kilo of human hair costs around 25¢ in Nepal. Karki is hoping to commercialize his invention, which can charge a cellphone or power batteries to provide an evening's worth of light, and eventually mass produce it.

"First I wanted to provide electricity for my home, then my village," says Karki, who was inspired by British physicist Stephen Hawking. "Now I am thinking for the whole world. We have begun the long walk to save the planet." Catch a shot of the teenager's invention below.

I love stories like this. So inspiring. An 18-year old how was simply inspired to provide electricity for his home and then his village! I certainly hope that Milan Karki is able to parlay this into something amazing for him and his village... And hopefully the world!


PS - A more in depth article posted by my bro on Daily Mail here.


D'angelo said...

WOW...truly inspiring! And practical as far as I can see. Human hair is natural and just waste if not made into wigs etc.

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