Paint Me a Solar Panel!
Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could just slap some paint on a flat surface and instantly have solar panels to power up your work, home and everything else? It seems impossible right? Maybe not.
Dr. Dave Worsley, a research scientist of the Materials Research Centre, at the University’s School of Engineering, Wales is researching a way to make it possible to paint steel surface with solar cells. While researching how sunlight corrodes paint on steel surface, Dr. Dave Wesley, along with a student, came up with the idea to research if paint could somehow capture solar energy instead.
Together they are now working with a company called Corus Colours, manufacturers of steel buildings, to come up with a “method of painting multiple layers of photovoltaic paint onto the surface of steel during the manufacturing process.” The goal is to make solar cell paints efficient so that they can capture low light radiation, such as during cloud cover. The steel as well as the paint would be flexible and easy to use.
Like cell-phones and laptops, solar panels are becoming thinner and smaller each year. It makes me wonder what this will do to those bulky panels we use today? Will they end up in the landfill? Should we go ahead and start a recycling program for old solar panels and look forward to the day when a few coats of paint will give us the power we need?
The Solar Cell Paint project, though still in it’s beginnings, has already won $3 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. That’s a nice chunk of change for an innovative idea. Don’t you think?
For more information visit Techotic .