Homemade Solar Panels, Cheap
Productive Product: Researchers at the New Jersey Institute of Technology are working on solar cells that can be painted or printed onto flexible plastic sheets . Head researcher Prof. Somenath Mitra predicts that someday, consumers will be able to make these cells using their computer printers -- "solar cells can be inexpensively printed or simply painted on exterior building walls and/or roof tops. Imagine some day driving in your hybrid car with a solar panel painted on the roof, which is producing electricity to drive the engine. The opportunities are endless," he explained. The cells capture energy using fullerene ("buckyball") technology and transport it via carbon nanotubes. The efficiency of this technique is not yet clear.