Spray-on Solar Panels…..What!!!!!!
With lots of recent talk about global climate change, research into sustainable forms of energy has soared, and solar panels are no exception. In fact, solar energy is about to embark on a journey few technologies have been able to achieve – spray-on application.
Professor David Lidzey of the University of Sheffield wowed the world back in 2012 when he unveiled a system that could harness solar energy in a way that was both cheaper than widely-used silicon and better for the environment – perovskite solar paint.
Perovskite is a calcium titanium oxide mineral and a cross between a metal and organic compound. The mineral is cheaper to produce than silicon, has a small carbon footprint and is nearly as efficient. In clinical trials, perovskite solar cells showed 19 percent efficacy and are six percent cheaper to produce than traditional solar cells. And the technology just got even better.
Not only is perovskite solar paint nearly as effective as silicon and better for the environment, but now it also comes in a spray can (or it will, after clinical testing is complete). Imagine the freedom of being able to make your very own solar panel anywhere you want. You can turn some of your windows of your home into solar panels. What about the windows on your car? Or even spray the tops of all of the buildings downtown to make one cohesive eco-conscious city. The possibilities are endless. But we’ll have to wait to go solar-crazy.
There is still much to be done with the experimental paint. It is still not as effective as silicon at converting energy and until it is, the rubbery substance may continue to dominate the market. Also, there’s a debate as to whether or not the new technology will be as effective if lead is eliminated (which is sometimes naturally found inside of the mineral). So Lidzey has his work cut out for him. Still, it’s a pretty sweet technology.
There’s no word on when spray-on solar panels will be available on the market, but if you’re thinking about decking out your home with the eco-friendly technology, go ahead and opt for silicon solar panels. If and when Perovskite solar paint-cans do hit the market, you can spray the paint right over existing solar technology to capture wavelengths only achievable through age-old teamwork. Now that’s a friendly compromise that’s good for the planet – and your wallet.
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