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  • cellular and photovoltaic industries in Hawaii
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The above mantra of our company speaks directly to our unrelenting focus on quality. With this goal in mind, we have proudly served Hawaii since 1985. Because of this rich history, we bring extensive experience to the job with a staff that’s like family.

Sea Salt and Solar Energy

mag sulAuthor William Golding once said “The greatest ideas are the simplest”. Such is the case with new research that is being presented by the University of Liverpool in London, England. According to scientists, the expensive and toxic chemical we discussed last week known as cadmium chloride and used in the production of solar panels can easily be replaced by a benign and naturally occurring substance which is present and readily available in our day to day lives.

This alternate substance can be derived from ocean water or brine and used in the commercial control of dust and ice on roadways. It is also used to produce certain foods like tofu, soy milk and baby formula. Plants like it because it helps them regulate deficiencies, produce high yields and grow greener. Many also use it to exfoliate skin, give hair extra body, regulate blood pressure and hyperactivity, flush toxins and form important proteins, by way of Epsom Salt. What is this substance? It’s magnesium chloride.

Until now, solar panels also known as photovoltaic cells have been coated with a film of cadmium chloride, designed to boost their performance. By putting this film on the solar cells, energy production increases to more than fifteen percent, up from the two percent solar cell researchers have seen with non-coated cells.

By incorporating magnesium chloride into the production of photovoltaic cells, manufacturers and consumers can realize a substantial cost savings on numerous levels. Compared to $300 per kilogram of cadmium chloride, magnesium chloride is a tough contender with a price tag of only $1 per kilogram. The remediation, disposal and recycling of the harmful cadmium chloride also carries a hefty price while there is no extra cost associated with the disposal of environmentally friendly magnesium chloride. Lastly, magnesium chloride is safe, abundant and readily available while toxic cadmium chloride has a complex preparation process which inadvertently is reflected in its high cost.

To produce a photovoltaic panel, manufacturers use spray guns to apply the necessary chemical layers onto the solar cell. They then harden the material in a furnace. Then, contacts are placed throughout the cell; these contacts are how the energy which is produced is moved to its final destination. The new research indicates that the traditional production practices would not need to be altered or amended in order to utilize magnesium chloride in the construction of solar power generation systems.

We still have much to learn about solar energy. Plants are exceptionally efficient and do a much better job at capturing solar energy than we do. By observing nature and utilizing simple solutions to complex problems we are able to move one step closer to accessible, attainable, clean and inexpensive energy for everyone under the sun.