Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Generating power, hair and now

Two 12th graders — Milan Karki and Harihar Adhikari — of Trinity International College in the Capital, have invented a new technique to tap solar energy. Their invention, which they claim is the first of its kind in the world, is a device called “Solar Hair Module”, which consists of black human hair for absorbing the sunlight.The device is a rectangular frame, consisting of black human hair, copper wire and a black chart paper with silicon coat. The device can be directly used by exposing it to the sun rays while battery can be recharged in day time. The prototype has produced eight volts of electricity and successfully lighted a three-watt CFL bulb. Unlike the commercial solar cell, SHM has used hair as the main component in generating electric energy. “We replaced the silicon bridge with natural black hair, which serves as the main agent to convert the solar radiation into electrical energy. It is based on the recreation of artificial photo synthesis principle,” Karki said. Karki, whose idol is Einstein, said the power potentiality would depend on the varying size of SHM. The cost of producing eight volt electricity was around Rs 3,000; against Rs 20,000 by commercial solar panel. The science students received thunderous applause when they presented their invention at a programme attended by scientists, teachers, senior government officials, journalists and their colleagues. The device is an outcome of two years of untiring efforts.“The concept can be used as an alternative source of energy,” said Adhikari. The duo, however, admitted that they needed further research to make their invention technically and economically feasible. Shankar Koirala, secretary at Ministry of Energy, was all praise for the teenagers and assured them of government’s assistance to enable them to continue with similar scientific research. “The government will always be with you to provide with the required help,” said Koirala. DK Shah, scientist at Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, lauded the students’ efforts
reported by mahesh sagar khanal for scientific nepal

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