Researchers in the UK are developing a method to “paint” solar cells onto buildings as if you were applying a traditional coat of paint on steel. The group hopes to develop a technique that allows them to apply the solar-power paint as the steel sheets pass through rollers, which would allow them to apply photovoltaic paint at up to 40 square meters per minute. To save costs, they plan to use dye-sensitized solar cells, instead of silicon to absorb the sunlight – like conventional solar panels. By using dye molecules attached to particles of titanium, it gives electrons an energy boost which transfers from the dye into a layer of electrolyte. This then transfers the extra energy into a collecting circuit, before looping back again. Though less efficient, the dye-sensitized approach is less expensive and can be applied as liquid. Researchers are estimating two-and-a-half years before commercially available.
So, does this mean I can apply solar-power paint to my iPod in a couple years? Probably not, but I can dream, can’t I?
Via: New Scientist Tech