The system directly addresses clean water shortages and crop devastation worldwide.
By Monisha Ravisetti
While generating green energy, solar panels usually create excess heat that goes unused. But with a new, innovative design, scientists have found a way to harness those precious leftovers to give the power producers a second purpose: pulling water out of thin air.
Basically, the self-contained system lays solar panels on a special gel that can collect airborne water vapor. As soon as surplus heat coming from the panels touches the gel, the substance releases a sort of mist into a metal box. Within that container, the gas gets condensed into droplets of water.
The team’s motivation is to provide energy and water that’s cheap, clean and off-grid to residents of remote and especially dry-climate areas.
“Our goal is to create an integrated system of clean energy, water, and food production, especially the water-creation part in our design, which sets us apart from current agrophotovoltaics,” Peng Wang, an environmental engineer at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, said in a statement.Wang is the senior author of a study on the invention published Tuesday in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science.Continue reading… “New Solar Panel Design Uses Wasted Energy to Make Water From Air”