Solar Paint

Solar-power paint lets you generate as you decorate – tech – 07 March 2008 – New Scientist

A lick of solar-power paint could see the roofs and walls of warehouses and other buildings generate electricity from the sun, if research by UK researchers pays off. The scientists are developing a way to paint solar cells onto the steel sheets commonly used to clad large buildings.

Steel sheets are painted rapidly in steel mills by passing them through rollers. A consortium led by Swansea University, UK, hopes to use that process to cover steel sheets with a photovoltaic paint at up to 40 square metres per minute.

The paint will be based on dye-sensitised solar cells. Instead of absorbing sunlight using silicon like conventional solar panels, they use dye molecules attached to particles of the titanium dioxide pigment used in paints.

That gives an energy boost to electrons, which hop from the dye into a layer of electrolyte. This then transfers the extra energy into a collecting circuit, before the electrons cycle back to the dye.

While less efficient than conventional cells, dye-based cells do not require expensive silicon, and can be applied as a liquid paste.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: