Solar Panel Made From Human Hair

Milan Karki, a young inventor from rural Nepal, claims to have figured out a way to replace the silicon in solar panels with human hair. From the Daily Mail:

Milan and four classmates initially made the solar panel as an experiment but the teens are convinced it has wide applicability and commercial viability.
'I'm trying to produce commercially and distribute to the districts. We've already sent a couple out to the districts to test for feasibility,' he said.
The solar panel, which produces 9 V (18 W) of energy, costs around £23 to make from raw materials. (among others) is skeptical:

if you head over to the Daily Mail and look at the photos, you'll see that the hair covers only a very small surface area on the prototype. This doesn't look like it would be enough to generate the electricity they claim to generate. In fact, if we extrapolate from that small surface area, this implies that a panel completely covered would produce much more power; possibly more than what is possible based on how much solar energy hits that surface


Posted on Thu Sep 10, 2009


According to the article, the melanin in the hair is what's powering the solar energy cells. How long until he realizes there's lots more melanin in the skin than in hair and starts making solar panels out of human skin (preferably dark skin)?
Posted by Frosted Donut  on  Thu Sep 10, 2009  at  12:42 PM
This has been debunked. Google on nepal solar hair hoax or go to
Posted by Anon  on  Thu Sep 10, 2009  at  02:07 PM
Actually, since what seems to be needed is silicone, I say we start using old implants and discarded lips and let's skip all that and just use the fatty tissue for making candles, maybe a colored one to make me rich :ahhh:
Posted by mario  on  Fri Sep 11, 2009  at  02:23 AM
No dice, Mario, for solar cells you need silicon, not silicone. It's not the same thing.
Silicon is the major ingredient in sand and glass and many rocks, but for good solar cells it needs to be purified, which is where most of the expense of making the cells comes in.

My hair would be no good for the solar panels anyway. Being a mixture of blond and gray (white), my hair is highly deficient in melanin.

Then there's the little problem (described in the article Anon linked to) that hair doesn't conduct electricity-- in fact, apparently it's an excellent insulator-- but now we're beating a dead horse.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Fri Sep 11, 2009  at  08:58 AM
It is presumably possible to make candles from human fat, but I don't want to go there.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Fri Sep 11, 2009  at  08:59 AM
I was hoping that by running head first and at full speed, into a brick wall; I would be able to achieve nuclear fusion :cheese:
Posted by mario  on  Fri Sep 11, 2009  at  10:03 PM
One of those hair today - gone tomorrow ideas.
Posted by Superperson  on  Sat Sep 12, 2009  at  10:05 AM
Don't worry guys! We can still use the hair to make soy sauce!
Posted by Sakano  in  Ohio  on  Sun Sep 13, 2009  at  11:28 AM
i'd give them some of my electricity if the could get my hair to grow back.
Posted by alfred neumann  on  Mon Oct 05, 2009  at  11:22 PM
Right have you heard of "how to power your whole house using your nail"?
Posted by solar  on  Tue Apr 13, 2010  at  12:23 AM
Wow,this is really amazing. How wonder this is that Solar panel made from human hair! Hope that it will able to give its all good facilities. Thanks
Posted by Jony Deny  on  Wed Feb 23, 2011  at  05:37 AM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.