Previously reported human hair solar panel most likely a hoax:
The young man claims he has sent several units out for evaluation which, on the face of it, lends credibility to his claim: ‘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. On the other hand, this means that he has built prototypes capable of producing 9VDC at 18W. Based on the analysis below, this seems highly unlikely and, unfortunately, seems to indicate this is a deliberate hoax.
As discussed below, the claimed output of this device does not agree with the published properties of photoelectric organic dyes, making it likely that a conventional solar cell is concealed inside the panel. Furthermore, the article states, “Half a kilo of hair can be bought for only 16p in Nepal and lasts a few months, whereas a pack of batteries would cost 50p and last a few nights. People can replace the hair easily themselves, says Milan, meaning his solar panels need little servicing” and “The young inventor says that human hair due to the presence of Melanin is sensitive to light and also acts as a type of conductor”. These statements indicate that the device uses human hair directly, not purified, extracted melanin which further invalidates the claim. The melanin can’t be electrically active because keratin is an insulator. Human hair is non-conductive and not photochemically active as published articles and my own experiments show.
(Thanks Mart K!)