Transforming Rain into Electricity


By Arianna Chen, Sophomore Editor

Solar panels are known to work together with the sun to produce energy. However, scientists in China have recently discovered how to combine the use of rain and solar panels to create electricity.

This solar panel would provide energy from the rays of the Sun on sunny days and from raindrops on stormy days. Scientists at the Ocean University of China and Yunnan Normal University hope that this invention will aid the increasingly worrying energy debacle that the world is facing.

The factor applied to the solar panels that renders them able to work alongside rain is a thin later of highly conductive graphene. The difference in energy between this graphene and water creates electricity.

Telegraph claims that solar panels produce an estimated 10-25 percent less energy on cloudy days as opposed to sunny days. Therefore, this improvement in solar panel technology is substantially beneficial in the production of energy.

Also, the ability to use solar panels even in cloudy weather makes solar panel usage a viable source of energy in countries where sunny weather is not the norm and cloudy days are.

Unsurprisingly, in an attempt to reduce their carbon footprint on the Earth, China is known to be one of the world’s major manufacturing places. Even so, China wishes to continue their improvements and implementations of solar energy into their society.

However, the U.S. is trailing right behind China, with SolarCity, founded by the Tesla CEO Elon Musk. If Elon Musk follows with his promises of “cutting-edge solar panels”, China may have some competition.