Solar panels are a great way to conserve fuels, use a free natural source for energy and is great for the environment. One problem with solar panels- they are great for the environment EXCEPT for one of the ingredients used in making the panels- cadmium chloride. The substance is highly toxic as well as expensive. The cadmium chloride is used to boost efficiency of solar cells. Scientists have discovered that magnesium chloride (as known as salt) boosts the same cells as the cadmium chloride with greater benefits. For one, salt costs a fraction of the cost – about 0.3% the cost of cadmium chloride. Another benefit is environmental impact- salt has little safety concerns as well as environmental. The cost of sodium free magnesium salt is $1 for a kilogram – far less expensive than the $300 for a kilogram of cadmium chloride. (http://www.geek.com/science/sea-salt-can-replace-solar-panel-component-for-0-3-the-cost-1598014/
). Magnesium Chloride- Salt without the sodium can be found in Tofu as well as salt-free salt.
The cost to buy cadmium chloride is a drop in the expensive of the material. Manufacturers spend millions of money- not to produce the solar panels with the material but to protect its workers from the toxicity of the chemical and to dispose of the chemical remnants per safety procedures. (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27987827
Sea salt (with sodium) can be harvested from places like the Dead Sea and the Great Salt Lake. There is an abundance of salt and with its price and little negative effects on the environment- it is a great choice to build cheap solar panels that can become a power worldwide (http://www.geek.com/science/sea-salt-can-replace-solar-panel-component-for-0-3-the-cost-1598014/
). Not only is the cost cheaper to buy but there are little toxicity issues leading to cheaper cost for manufactures. Plus disposal costs will be almost nonexistent due to the fact it is a basically salt.
The technology was developed at Liverpool University what have been trying to find a safer alternative to the toxic cadmium chloride. According to Dr. Jon Major- the discovery could drive the cost of solar panels down to the cost of fossil fuels. (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27987827
). With the cost of the solar panels declining, the idea of solar panel farms and solar panels on more houses is feasible.
The downfall to this discovery is there needs to be more discoveries. With the cadmium chloride replaced, the technology can only expand so far. Another key ingredient is that the panels require tellurium- an extremely rare element. There is not enough of this element to outfit every house with solar panels. (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27987827
The great thing about solar panels is that there is enough sunlight on Earth- every hour to generate enough electricity for the planet for a year. Sunlight is a great way to cut our independence on fossil fuels. Each step forward increases our chances of becoming more environmentally friendly. (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27987827
Our continuation to better our planet will help increase the longevity of Earth for many years to come. With the progress science is made, solar panels will (hopefully) gain momentum and become a great source of renewable energy.