Name of The Author: K.Gowthami
Organisation: Sir C R Reddy College Of Engineering, Eluru
Today’s technological and highly sophisticated world heavily depends on electricity for the function of any device that contributes for human comfort. The sources for power generation like coal (thermal), water (hydroelectric) etc., are diminishing day to day and utilisation of power keeps on increasing. The scientific society and researchers are completely devoted to find alternatives for power generation. Shortage of power results in many economical, industrial, domestic and scientific problems. It is the present burning issue in the society, where more attention is to be paid.
To overcome the above problems, there are many alternatives, out of which utilisation of solar energy is one of the best alternatives, as it is a renewable energy source. As technology keeps on changing the methods involved in generation and utilisation of electricity has also been changed.
Can you imagine a wild weed which is smashed by the children to make their cheeks in a forest can help in improvement of efficiency of solar power plant? Yes, it can. But how? Is the next question. The answer is red colour extract from the poke berries act as a good absorber when painted on the surface of the solar panel. Phytolacca Americana generally named as Poke berry or simply poke weed is an herbaceousperennial plant. Poke berry extract mainly contains chemical component like apoisonous substance similar to saponin, jaligonic acid, phytolaccagenic acid (phytolaccinic acid), esculentic acid, and pokeberrygenin, and phytolaccasidesA, B, D, E, and G, and phytolaccasaponins B, E, and G and phytolaccagenin. By observing the chemical properties of these components which combined with an alcohol group, we notice that these have a good thermal conductivity, which helps in the enhancement of solar power plants. Hence this red colour extract from the poke berries is prepared by treating the dye extract from pokeberries with alcohol. The fibre based solar cells can produce as much as twice the power that current flat-cell technology can produce. That’s because they are composed of millions of tiny, plastic “cans” that trap light until most of it is absorbed. Since the fibres create much more surface area, the fibre solar cells can collect light at any angle — from the time the sun rises until it sets.This type of solar panels are coated with the pokeberry red dye helps in trapping in more amount of power to convert into electricity.Pokeberries proliferate even during drought and in rocky, infertile soil, woodlands, pastures, fields, forest margins and disturbed sites such as roadsides, ornamental landscapes, agricultural fields, and urban waste areas.Poke berries are mostly available in United States, except the northern plains states, and the Mountain States, Alaska and Hawaii. Poke weed has several dozen species, most of them coarse shrubs or treelike plants native to the tropical regions of China, Japan, India, South America, and Africa which help these countries to implement this method of solar power enhancement.
Once the primary manufacturer ships the cells, workers at local plants would spray them with the dye and prepare them for installation. It is estimated that it would cost about $5 million to set up a finishing plant — about $15 million less than it could cost to set up a similar plant for flat cells. It’s a low-cost solar cell that can be made to work with local, low-cost agricultural crops like pokeberries and with a means of production that emerging economies can afford.