Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Solar Paint Update
We've been reporting on solar paint since the idea first showed up, and now we've got an update for you: paint-on batteries have become a reality.
In case you haven't been following, the idea is fairly simple. Solar cells such as those we use on rooftops for electric power are being made so small through nanotechnology that they can be suspended in titanium dioxide, made into paint, and brushed onto a roof or walls.
The technology exists, but it's not yet fully practical. The primary difficulties include cost and the details of getting the electricity from the surface of the building to the lights or appliances within.
This has always been the issue with electricity, of course. There's plenty of it out in the world, but you can't just direct lightning toward your wall sockets.
New research has taken the technology a step further.
Researchers at Rice, a college in the U.S.A., created paint-on batteries and hooked them up to a solar cell. They were able to then to connect the batteries to diodes. So far they've just gotten them to spell out "Rice" in lights for six hours, but from there to a paint-powered house is not very many steps.
at 3:24 PM