Scientists are developing a paint that can generate electricity by turning a building’s exterior into one big solar panel. Sound far-fetched? Investors don’t think so, and they’re showing billions of dollars of confidence in the paint’s potential. Information recently published by Aditya Gautam on Solar Reviews suggests that Solar Paint just might be the next big thing in renewable energy. There are several methods involved in putting this to work.
In Australia, scientists from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology have developed a paint that can absorb moisture from the air, break down the water into its components of hydrogen and oxygen, then use the hydrogen to produce clean energy.
In Toronto, Canada, scientists have been working with nanoscale semiconductors that can capture light and turn it into an electric current.
Another study in Canada uses the mineral Perskovite, which when added to paint, helps harness solar energy.
Studies have been ongoing for years, and while Gautam predicts that the commercial use of this paint is still some years in the making, he is optimistic that it can be a world-changer. “Solar paint of any kind could make solar power systems ubiquitous around the world. Every roof has the potential to be solar-painted,” he wrote.
Global demand increases
A report from ResearchAndMarkets.com released on Business Wire suggests that these technologies will improve and that demand will increase quite heavily over the next few years. “The global solar paint market is expected to grow at a significant rate during the forecast period [thru 2027],” said the report. “The market growth can be attributed to the surging demand for renewable energy due to enhanced eco-consciousness and growing initiatives by the government to cut down carbon footprint with the use of sustainable energy sources. Solar paints are composed by mixing photovoltaic particles in the paint and applied on the walls, doors, frames, etc. to convert solar energy into electricity.”
The article continues that researchers are working on ways to make it more affordable and accessible, and as people search for alternative to fossil fuels, it may just push the paint contractor to the front of the energy alternative movement.
Look ma, no electricity!
Cool roof coatings have come a long way since their first appearance on the market, and one we mentioned briefly a couple weeks ago is making some big waves. SolCold, a startup company based in Herzliya, Israel, has success with a multi-layered coating that absorbs sunlight and turns that heat from the sun into a significant cooling power. “SolCold designed a four-layer material that absorbs some particles of light — then uses them to conduct a reaction that turns heat into a cooling mechanism,” explains blogger Adele Peters on FastCompany.com.
Even automobiles coated with this paint have registered temperatures as much as 34 degrees cooler than those without. Being able to cool down buildings anywhere in the world, without the need for so much electricity (or any) could be another game changer as we move into the mid-21st century; it can help people in parts of the world without access to electricity as well as those looking to save energy on AC. Plus when the power goes out, the cooling stays on.
SolCold was one of the winners of AkzoNobel’s “Paint the Future” award, which allows the company to collaborate with the worldwide paint giant.
Add new comment