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DEC 09

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Nanotech Breakthrough: Self-Cleaning Solar Panels

Solar panels may have just become more low maintenance.  While conducting research on a cure forl Alzheimer's, scientists at Tel Aviv University ended up with a nanotech breakthrough that could mean no more worrying about keeping solar panels clean - they can clean themselves!

The researchers were conducting experiments on ways to control peptide atoms and molecules (Alzheimer's sufferers have a particular peptide found in the plaques that form in their brains) and they found a way to get peptides to self-assemble in a vacuum.  The resulting arrangement of peptides acts as a dust- and water-repelling coating.

Not only can the coating keep solar panels clear from debris, but it also could be used as a supercapacitor, meaning better lithium batteries.  Two boosts to clean tech with one discovery!

If that's not enough, drug company Merck is funding continued Alzheimer's research at Tel Aviv University.  You can check out the abstract of the groups findings in Nature Nanotechnology.

via Discovery News

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Comments (15)Add Comment
written by Richard, December 09, 2009
now this is certainly nice. a self-cleaning, self sufficient home is a stuff of legends!
Nanotech is tomorrow's asbestos problem
written by William, December 10, 2009
Haven't we learned about the dangers of nano fibres yet? Nano research must be stopped before it unleashes a disaster on the people of the world.

As for Merck, they would fund research into anything as long as there was a dollar to be made from it.
This is quite remarkable
written by VeruTEK Green Technologies, December 10, 2009
There is huge potential in nanotechnology, but this can be quite a development for solar panels. When dust and dirt collect on solar panels, the energy collected becomes less and less. I think that this new technology can become quite useful in the future.
Self-Cleaning Solar Panels
written by David, December 10, 2009
The people at T.A. University did a great job. We live in AZ and will hopefully soon get our own solar panels. Self-cleaning would be ideal!

- David
the start
written by kitchen table, December 11, 2009
This is a nice invention. Self-cleaning panels so we don't have to worry about it. Hopefully, this will be the start for discovering something for Alzheimer patients.
written by Richard, December 11, 2009
I have to ask though, will the added technology in anyway hamper the conversion process?
Going green made simpler
written by Green Ninja, December 11, 2009
Well at least solar panels will eventually have another selling point, since the potential to rid yourself of power from the grid and electricity bills altogether doesn't seem to be doing it.

Every little bit helps...
written by Eco Size Briana, December 13, 2009
Clean energy that cleans itself? Who could ask for more? We're slowly breaking down the wall and making our planet a better place to live smilies/cool.gif
Old news?
written by jimbo, December 14, 2009
How is this different from the self-cleaning nanotech coating that has been available for windows for some time? It's hard to imagine how solar panels would require different tech?
French Start up
written by cleantuesday, December 18, 2009
The french start up nanovation presented at Cleantuesday proposes a much more advanced techno:
Cleantuesday the first quarter of 2010
written by cleantuesday, December 18, 2009
Save the dates:

* * Tuesday, January 12, 2010: Cleantuesday "solar" photovoltaic and thermal (The Canteen, from 18.30) - entries are already open

* * Tuesday, February 9: Cleantuesday "Water" (The Canteen, from 18.30)

* * Wednesday, March 17 afternoon, Cleantuesday host 4 events "Cleantech and territories" in the Show Produrable. Book your afternoon

Feel free to send us your plans for the various events (contact (at)
Cleanliness not such an issue for Solar Pnels
written by Dave Solar Panels, January 25, 2010
As an installer of Solar Panels in Australia, we have found that cleaning is not really an issue due to the pitch and weather conditions, although it may be more of an issue for countries that dont get a lot of rain and require panels to lie flatter.
Solar Dave
written by Panneau solaire, April 02, 2010
Nice post
written by Business Electricity, August 26, 2010
Thanks for a good read. I agree that it can take a while before your investment in solar panels returns. But on the other hand, it is a very positive thing for our environment and it really helps!

It took me some time before finally doing it, though. But I’ve stopped worrying about my energy bill since I got them installed, which is a big relief.
written by Forum energie solaire, October 20, 2010
Article très intéressant, merci pour ces informations.

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