July is Ultraviolet Awareness Month, an initiative to encourage awareness of UV rays and their potential to be harmful to your health. Aside from health discussions, there is a positive site to UV rays; energy.
Did you know that UV rays can generate power? A research group from the Kyoto Institute of Technology introduced a new photovoltaic cell that is capable of generating electricity from ultraviolet light. A multi-junction PV design cell could absorb and catch the entire spectrum of light. The group’s prototype has found a way to capture all that light using a single junction cell.
MIT, via their startup, Ubiquitous Energy, is working on technology for transparent solar panels that harness power through UV, too. For a real-life application of UV technologies, Carbon3D offers a UV 3D printer. This 3D printer can reduce production time of 3D materials from hours to minutes.
Just as technology advances in any industry, imagine what advancements in ultraviolet power generation could bring. Solar panels used to require being the size of a football field to produce enough energy to power a small building. Nowadays, the size of solar panels and become more compact and a single rooftop can power the house in which it rests upon. Continued development of UV technologies looks promising.