Friday, February 22, 2008

Solar Energy and My Photosynthetic Shirt

When I was a wee lad, definitely older than 8 but definitely younger than 13, I was at the local state park with my brothers and my dad. It was a bright, sunny day. My dad was doing something with my brothers, and I was just ambling about aimlessly. The sun must have felt very inviting, so I got down on the cement and let it shine on me. I was wearing a black shirt, or at least it was once black. At this point in its life it was more of a dark grey. It had been tie-dyed at some point in its long life, and there was one long streak of white shooting across the front of it like a lightning bolt. In fact, before my mom explained what tie-dye was, I just naturally assumed that it was a depiction of one of Zeus' messages.

Not the real shirt.

As I lay there upon the cement, I could feel the warmth of the sun entering me, mostly through my shirt. I started to think that I would be able to absorb the energy coming from the sun in the same manner as a solar panel. Granted, my understanding of photovoltaic power back then (as now) was fairly limited. But it was different than that. I knew that my black(ish) shirt would tend to absorb more visible light and, concordantly, heat. The cement was very light, so I would essentially become a tiny island of energy. It made me feel better, and as I played that day in the park, I could swear that I was running on solar.

There's a lot of sun in Colorado; perhaps some of my polos are photosynthetic, too. Maybe then I would have a basis for feeling so damn good.

Now if only I could manage energy output. I really need to recharge my iPod.