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electric solar panels using Pokeberries

 
                        
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Just found this article titled "Purple Pokeberries Hold Secret to Affordable Solar Power Worldwide"  from Science Daily  that seems very in line with permaculture principles.   Apparently the red dye from the pokeberry coats the fibers of the solar cell acting as a photon trap and absorber.  This is especially helpful because the solar cells will efficiently collect light from a wide angle range, from sun up to sun down without having to reorient the panels. 

This is my first post on this forum, I look forward to sharing permaculture ideas with all of you. 
 
                    
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Interesting....please tell us more! Do you have a link to the article?
 
                        
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Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
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Dianne, the title in his post is incorrectly linked.  Here is a corrected link to the original Science Daily article:

"Purple Pokeberries Hold Secret to Affordable Solar Power Worldwide"

Although the article doesn't specify why the pokeberries (isn't that what's in Captain Crunch?) work, I suspect that the solar cells in question are more efficient at the lower light wave frequencies, and the dye produced by the berries is just the right color to provide maximum power to the cells.
 
                    
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Very interesting....too bad we can't to do an experiment to try it out? That sounds like fun.

I hope the process they use to fix the dye is eco-friendly.
 
ronie dee
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Muzhik wrote:
Although the article doesn't specify why the pokeberries (isn't that what's in Captain Crunch?) work, I suspect that the solar cells in question are more efficient at the lower light wave frequencies, and the dye produced by the berries is just the right color to provide maximum power to the cells.


[glow=red,2,300][size=15pt]DO NOT eat poke berries the whole plant has poison and, unless you are willing to get sick, do not eat poke. [/size][/glow]

You can find recipes and authors (like Euell Gibbons) that recommend eating poke. The plant can poison you and make you sick.
                                -----------------------------------------------------
The berries have a ruby red color and i suspect that might trap light and enhance light on the voltaic cell in some way. Ruby tubes are used in lasers.
 
Larisa Walk
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The most efficient PV panels currently made for use on Mars rovers (42%) use a mix of different color sensitivities layered together like the sensors in high-end Fuji cameras. Different dyes, whether organic or inorganic, react to different frequencies and the layers add up to give greater output. The problem with multi-layer designs has been very high manufacturing costs. To get solar to the masses requires simplicity, cheap, readily available materials, durability in sunlight and weather, recycle-ability, easy installation on various surfaces and mounts, and good output efficiency to reduce panel size. It's like different battery types; no single design seems to do everything well.

Bob.
 
charles c. johnson
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hey i have eaten poke all my life  only eat leaves smaller than your palm from the top of the plant
 
                    
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Hi Charles ,

I do not think Poke grows where I live.

So you eat the leave but not the berries?

How do you eat the leaves? raw? cooked? in tea?

Why do you eat it? taste? nutrition?

Do they have natural toxins? is the trick to eat a small amount of the top of the pant & avoid the toxins?
 
charles c. johnson
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hi dianne

i eat it as a green like spinach

i cook it most of the time boiled twice sometimes mix in eggs

i like the taste and nutrition

the berries are super toxic along with the stalk 

the smaller top leaves have only a small amount

my mom taught me how to eat it , grandma taught mom, great grandma taught grandma . and so on
 
ronie dee
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The MO West University plant Doctor said that the small early plant wasn't poison and that the older plant was poison. The raw young leaves are crispy and very good. I ate too much once and got sick. So I tried Euell Gibbons, boil twice and throw away the water then bake, recipe. I didn't get throw up sick, but felt that i did get a little poison.

My conclusion is that the plant contains poison at all stages and you can get away with eating a small amount, but it is accumulative and you can get sick by eating too much. So i would only eat it in small amounts and only if there was not anything else to eat.

SO try it IF you are willing to get sick. Some people eat it - I won't.

I saw a recipe for arthritis that included whiskey and poke root... I wouldn't try it.
 
Cyric Mayweather
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While i never could stand the stuff, alot of folks here eat Poke Salad
(Parents, Relatives, Friends and such) i know of none being poisoned here eat Poke my dad taught me to only pick the young shoots never any over 1' tall (i suspect it can be eaten taller, but dad just liked the tender sprouts :p) the whole stalk can be cooked like boiled spinach and eaten, the larger the plant gets the more toxic it becomes and the berries are very bad given my understanding of the old timer lore. so thats what i know on the subject hope it helps
 
                    
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All very interesting, thanks folks.

So if the berries are rich in pigment do they use them to make textile dyes & such?
 
tel jetson
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Dianne Keast wrote:
So if the berries are rich in pigment do they use them to make textile dyes & such?


I believe the United States Constitution was written in ink made from poke berries.
 
Cyric Mayweather
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Dianne Keast wrote:
All very interesting, thanks folks.

So if the berries are rich in pigment do they use them to make textile dyes & such?


I admittedly know very little about natural dyes, but being as the berries are poison it might not be the best idea to use them, you never know how little it might take to make on sick, even with skin contact
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
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The great revolution in solar energy has been just around the corner for the last 40 years! 
 
Larisa Walk
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The problem with a "revolution" is that when it actually works and becomes commercial loads of panels get purchased and the price rises accordingly. Since low-cost is part of what makes it a revolution we'll never actually see major adoption of a technology that all the energy pundits tell us is "not comparatively cost effective" without the sort of government intervention seen in Japan and Germany. Seems like every energy source except PV gets federal subsidies.

Well, any iteration of PV tech may be "too expensive" at any given moment, so we just built our system over a 28 year span, adding panels or upgrading charge controllers as needed. Modularity is the one big advantage PV has over many other energy sources.
 
Brice Moss
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The "revolution" is ongoing every time someone installs another system we get another point source of power that won't vanish when the downward spiral of energy supply starts making itself felt. In the worst case each of those will help some folks survive. What leaves me optimistic is how non fossil energy gets a boost every time energy prices spike.
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
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I didn't mean to be cheeky about the 40 years comment...ok, maybe I did 

Despite my sarcasm, there is a lot to be optimistic about technology-wise.  The solutions are already out there, implementation is the real frontier.  Need to change our heads more than develop new technology, but I'll take all the thinner, cheaper, more efficient I can get. 
 
                        
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Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
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yukkuri_kame wrote:
Need to change our heads more than develop new technology, but I'll take all the thinner, cheaper, more efficient I can get. 


At this stage of my life, I'll settle for thinner...
 
                            
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Muzhik wrote:
Although the article doesn't specify why the pokeberries (isn't that what's in Captain Crunch?)


Just LOLed a bit. Good stuff.
 
John Rushton
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Perhaps this only muddies the water, as there is lots of folk lore about poke salad.  What I read was the leaves are safe to eat, after 3 changes of boiled water, only when the plant is very young and the stalk is green.  When the stalk turns purple it is unsafe.  Not sure if this is more or less true than any of the other methods listed above.
 
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