Clever Queens teen seeks US patent for solar energy-generating invention

April 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Faizullah Mashriqi, 18, is waiting for a U.S. patent for his innovative energy-generating invention meant to save consumers money. Melissa Chan

Faizullah Mashriqi, 18, discovered a cheaper way to generate solar-powered energy using aluminum before he even graduated high school. He took his first physics course just two years ago.

This kid is brighter than the lights his brilliant invention will one day power.

Faizullah Mashriqi, 18, is waiting for a U.S. patent for his innovative solar energy-generating innovation, which is meant to save consumers money.

Using aluminum instead of costlier silicon, which carries an average $50,000 price tag per home, he found a cheaper way to produce the roof-mounted panels that harness the sun to produce electricity.

“Silicon is not economically feasible; it’s almost like taking out another mortgage,” said the Fresh Meadows dynamo, who graduated Francis Lewis High School last year with a straight-A average. “Aluminum, which is extremely abundant, costs nearly one-tenth less.”

The ingenious idea had challenges, said Faizullah, a first-generation American whose parents are from Afghanistan.

He and three other researchers had to pierce through the aluminum’s surface layer, which prevents electrons from moving freely. Researchers typically steer clear of the metal because of its aluminum oxide layer, the budding scientist said.

It took two years of trial and error, but eventually they reached their goal.

“It’s a great feeling. I know the work I did paid off,” said the topnotch teen whiz, who took his first physics course just two years ago. “This is only one part. There’s much more that we can do from here.”

They filed their patent application two years ago, and it is published on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website.

But they’ll have to wait a little longer before they get the office’s go-ahead to start developing and perfecting a product for worldwide distribution, said Dr. Alan N. Wolf, a patent lawyer who chairs Cooper Union’s physics department.

That’s a task supporters say Faizullah — now a first year at CUNY’s Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education program — is more than ready to conquer.

“I knew he was a real mover and shaker since the very beginning,” said Dr. Bonnie Blackwell, who teaches science research at Faizullah’s alma mater. “It blows you away at times. He’s going be one of the great thinkers of his generation.”

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