Solar Paint – A Fresh Coat of Energy

Solar power — By Stephanie on September 13, 2008 at 8:59 am

Can you really decorate yourself into lower energy bills? That’s what researchers in the UK are hoping with their solar paint! Steel sheets coated with photovoltaic paint may be the wave of the future, answering concerns that some have regarding conventional PV panels that are constructed with silicon. Solar paint incorporates dye molecules that literally boost energy activities of electrons absorbed from low level ultra-violet light. The extra energy is sent to a collecting circuit where it can be converted to AC electrical current by an inverter. No need to worry about fading or peeling solar paint, either. The process has been successfully tested in Japan and at numerous UK universities. It requires application of “normal” paint, then solar paint, and then a protective film.

 Solar Paint   A Fresh Coat of Energy

Just how far can this technology go? Swansea University estimates that by covering 100 million square feet of steel with solar paint, more than 4,500 gigawatt-hours of solar energy can be produced. The technologically advanced paint will not be on the market for several years, but researchers are confident that you’ll be able to purchase coated steel products within the next several years. I’m going to paint my garage green.

Now your paint can be “green” in more ways that one! Image from Flickr
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