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Earth

Purple Pokeberries Yield Cheap Solar Power 206

separsons writes "Researchers at Wake Forest's Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials created a low-cost solar power system geared towards developing nations. By coating fiber-based solar cells with dye from purple pokeberries, a common weed, scientists created a cheap yet highly efficient solar system. Wake Forest researchers and their accompanying company, FiberCell Inc., have filed for a patent for fiber-based solar. Plastic sheets are stamped with plastic fibers, creating millions of tiny 'cans' that trap light until it is absorbed. The fibers create a huge surface area, meaning sunlight can be collected at any angle from the time the sun rises until it sets. Coating the system with pokeberry dye creates even greater absorption: researchers say the system can produce twice as much power as traditional flat-cell technology."

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