Mom, I Think I Solved the Energy Crisis?


Way back (er, six months ago) when EcoSalon was first unfurling, we reported on a terrific breakthrough by Super Soaker designer Lonnie Johnson in the field of solar cell efficiency. Now this remarkable step forward in sustainable energy is overshadowed by yet another –  from a 12-year-old in Oregon.

Most news stories are going to focus on William Yuan’s age – and no wonder. When I was his age I was still struggling with the rules of football, let alone physics. But Mr. Yuan seems something of a prodigy (now there’s a word to reassure us all). Multi-award-winning, including the Oregon award for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Talent Search, and with a keen interest in renewable energy, this seventh-grader has created a 3D solar cell that absorbs both visible and ultraviolet light.

This cell collects 9 times more light than existing 3D cells – and a whopping 500 times more than conventional flat cells. If the concept becomes commercially viable, it’s a huge step towards fulfilling our energy needs with renewable resources. And for Mr Yuan? A well-deserved $25,000 scholarship – and the peculiar pressure of having to top an achievement he made at the age of 12.

via Clean Technica

Image: aussiegall

Mike Sowden

Mike Sowden is a freelance writer based in the north of England, obsessed with travel, storytelling and terrifyingly strong coffee. He has written for online & offline publications including Mashable, Matador Network and the San Francisco Chronicle, and his work has been linked to by Lonely Planet, World Hum and Lifehacker. If all the world is a stage, he keeps tripping over scenery & getting tangled in the curtain - but he's just fine with that.