Artificial Leaves from North Carolina

Thanks to reader Colleen McGuire for pointing out  this interesting development. It does look promising if it can be developed further, although as one of the researchers said, "We do not want to overpromise at this stage, as the devices are still of relatively low efficiency and there is a long way to go before this can become a practical technology."

An interesting question to ask about any solar energy technology is what surface area would be needed in order to meet all of the energy needs of a typical home.

Another is how the availability of sunlight relates to the timing of energy needs. Solar energy is a good match where a major power need is for air conditioning because both the location and timing of the need are associated with lots of sunlight. Up in my part of the world though we never use air conditioning and our major need is for heat and lighting in the winter when we have only 8 hours of not very bright sunlight. (But even so, there are situations where solar power is useful here, especially for things that use the radiation directly such as water heating)

Leave a Reply