Blueberries may soon be aiding a higher need. Who would have thought that blueberries could serve as a solar energy source?
Professor Aldo Di Carlo from the Department of Electronic Engineering in Italy, is leading a research team to use the natural pigments derived from blueberries to improve solar panel production. The pigments from dark-colored berries absorb sunlight extremely well. Since the extraction of the pigment is simple task, production of solar cells would increase. Unfortunately, efficiency rates are considerably lower. Silicon-based solar panels achieve an efficiency rate of approximately 15 percent while dyed solar panels achieve only a 1 percent efficiency rate. But by using synthetic dyes, efficiency rates could increase to 10 percent or more.