Fake pot plant is solar panel in disguise

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Tech-heads in sunny climes probablylove the futuristic look of solar panels bolted to their houses, but it’s easyto see how most normal folk might not be mad keen on all that glass and metal.

Which is probably where Mitsubishiand its partners got the idea for creating solar panels that fit in with theirsurroundings by mimicking the appearance of a pot plant [Japanese link].

Point to make

Ahead of this summer’s G8 environmentsummit in Japan, Mitsubishi, Tokki and the National Institute of AdvancedIndustrial Science and Technology (AIST) put their big brains together to come up witha solar ‘leaf’ that converts sunlight into electricity.

The eight leaves on thedemonstration plant provide 60 square centimetres of light-gathering surfacemade up of organic thin-film solar cells covered with a thin film that protectsagainst the elements.

Although the solar plant is just aproof of concept, the researchers hope to use the lessons learned to turnwalls, windows and even clothing into power-generating units.



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