CLIMATE CHANGE NEWS

Discarded Car Batteries Could Power the World

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Researchers at MIT have turned old car batteries into new solar panels at a fraction of the cost of new commercial solar panels.

A simple technique can convert discarded car batteries into inexpensive solar panels, according to MIT. The researchers calculate that a single lead-acid car battery could supply enough lead to make more than 700 square meters of perovskite solar cells.

At a conservative 15% efficiency the solar cells from just one average sized car battery would provide enough electricity to power to up to 30 households. Powering the entire United States would take about 12.2 million recycled car batteries, fabricated into 8,634 square kilometers of perovskite solar panels operating under conditions similar to those in Nevada.

The U.S. already recycles more than 50 million batteries each year, so there are more than enough batteries available.

Progressive communities could setup their own factories to employ local residents to manufacture the solar panels for a fraction of the cost of conventional panels imported from China or made domestically.

When Tesla's new battery factory starts production, the cost of electrical power storage will drop dramatically and it will be feasible for many communities to get off fossil fuels while saving money. Mass transit could be converted to electric.

When the new Tesla Model 3 is available for purchase in 2017 there will be little reason for drivers to switch to an electric car.

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