One of the most innovative designs for a photovoltaic panel was just in the news recently: a new type of solar panel that uses human hair as a conductor. The panels, which were invented by a Nepalese teenager, replace the traditional conducting material of silicon with human hair, which is much cheaper and is light-sensitive because of the pigment melanin (the same thing that gives human hair its color). The solar panels that can be widely produced with this method are estimated to cost only around $50 each, making them far less costly than pre-existing models.
A group of students in Lake Charles, LA needed to come up with a project to become Eagle Scouts, so they thought that making one of their science rooms a net-zero classroom with solar was the perfect project. They helped their teacher receive funding and grants and once the solar project was ready to be installed they learned all they could about solar and helped install it (with guidance of course)!
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