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Local student competing in International Science Fair builds eco-friendly solar cell


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Claire Huang, a junior at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville, built her own eco-friendly solar cell, which is used in solar panels

Claire has been working on science projects since middle school — fueled by a passion for the environment.

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She said she discovered that many commercial solar panels are not eco-friendly because they’re made of silicon – so she has now built a new kind of solar cell that is.

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“There is a new generation of solar cells called dye-sensitized solar cells and I wanted to look into that to prove the efficiency so that in the future we can replace silicon solar cells with dye-sensitized,” Claire explained. “They’re made differently, so silicone panels are made with different materials, industrialized and have to be made in a factory. Dye-sensitized cells can be made from home like I did in my garage.”

Claire is one of six Northeast Florida teenagers who have been named finalists in the International Science and Engineering Fair competition in May.

Claire not only created the eco-friendly solar cell but she managed to design it in a way that makes it as efficient as the traditional solar cells that are not great for the environment.

She now has a trademark pending on it and hopes one day it will be commercialized, making solar power even better for the environment.

“If my invention is able to be used in the future, I would like to bring it to low-income countries that don’t have energy or are primarily based off biomass fuel,” Claire said.

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Be sure to join us Thursday during the 8 a.m. hour of The Morning Show when we introduce you to one more finalist in the international competition.

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