Indian ‘fruit of the gods’ could lower cost of solar cells by 40%

May 4, 2017 by  
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Could India’s ‘fruit of the gods’ help lower the price of solar cells ? Scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee discovered jamun, a black plum, contains a pigment able to absorb sunlight. They think utilizing the fruit in mass production of solar panels could slash costs. Jamun, Syzygium cumini , is indigenous to south Asia and is sold on the street for cheap prices. Jamun trees can grow to be nearly 100 feet tall and live for 100 years, and the black plums from those trees are lauded for medicinal and nutritional value. But now they may play a role in generating clean energy as well, thanks to their pigment anthocyanin. Related: India doubles down on solar power with huge park capacity increase IIT-Roorkee assistant professor Soumitra Satapathi told Quartz India, “We were looking at why the jamuns are black. We extracted the pigment using ethanol and found that anthocyanin was a great absorber of sunlight.” Satapathi and two other researchers from the institute used that anthocyanin as a sensitizer in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). They think utilizing naturally occurring dyes, like the jamun pigment, could lower solar panel costs by 40 percent. Anthocyanin is also found in blueberries, raspberries, cherries, and cranberries. DSSCs aren’t as efficient as traditional silicon-based solar cells yet, but could offer a low cost alternative – beneficial especially for India as the country aims to gain 40 percent of energy from renewables by 2030. But the IIT scientists aren’t quite there yet; their DSSCs only have an efficiency of 0.5 percent, contrasted with traditional solar cells’ efficiency of over 15 percent. Nevertheless, the scientists pointed out jamun is widely available, and could offer a biodegradable , non-toxic alternative to synthetic dyes that have been used in DSSCs. The IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics published the research online recently. Via EcoWatch and Quartz India Images via Dinesh Valke on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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Indian ‘fruit of the gods’ could lower cost of solar cells by 40%

Spain’s Earthy Espai Ridaura Cultural Center is Topped With a Luscious Green Roof

May 17, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Spain’s Earthy Espai Ridaura Cultural Center is Topped With a Luscious Green Roof Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , Architecture , Capella Garcia Arquitectura , cultural activities , earth building , eco-tourism , Espai Ridaura , girona , green materials , green roof , multipurpose , natural pigments , Spain , stage , thermal solar panels        

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Spain’s Earthy Espai Ridaura Cultural Center is Topped With a Luscious Green Roof

Willem Heeffer Creates Upcycled Heinz Beanz Can Chandeliers for Helsinki’s Midhill Restaurant

May 16, 2013 by  
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Dutch designer Willem Heeffer used 334 recycled cans to create a series of luminous upcycled chandeliers and furnishings for Top Chef Hans Välimäki’s new Midhill American diner in Helsinki, Finland. Heeffer collected the tins from local restaurants, cleaned them, and then transformed them into fork and knife holders, bar lights, a floor-to-ceiling storage display and three chandeliers. The chandeliers are made from 21 Heinz Beanz classic cans each. The lamps fit perfectly into the interior designed by Martina Rosenqvist and Vera Öller , who used old corrugated roof panels to clad the bars. The single Heinz Beanz can that started it all is for sale at Willem Heeffer ‘s website. + Willem Heeffer The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Finland , green design , green interiors , Hans Valimaki , Heinz Beanz , Helsinki , Martina Rosenqvist , Midhill Restaurant , recycled cans , Recycled Materials , sustainable design , Vera oller , Willem Heeffer        

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Willem Heeffer Creates Upcycled Heinz Beanz Can Chandeliers for Helsinki’s Midhill Restaurant

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