Solar paint for smart panels

Spreadable solar panels, a paint capable of converting light into electricity. Some applications are available: the paint could be used to cover entire buildings, in Australia the first developments begin.

The team of researchers from CSIRO, the Australian national research body, has developed innovative ones solar panels extremely small in size and thickness. The technology used is very particular because it is based on the principle of painting applied directly to a surface.

This technology can be thought of as a blend of solar panels which can be injected, printed or painted, thus covering the surfaces of any building as long as it is made of glass, metal or plastic.

The Photovoltaic cells, capable of absorbing sunlight, were made with special nanocrystals with a microscopic diameter. It is a mixture of polymeric materials and titanium dioxide particles coated with cadmium sulphide and selenide suspended in a hydroalcoholic solution. The mix of materials, thus composed, joins to create a paste.

By covering a good conductor with this paste and exposing it to light, electricity can be generated. The solar cells conventional, which are silicon-based are very efficient at converting light solar in energy but to make them there is a rather expensive process. They also disfigure the landscape and many users refuse to use the classic photovoltaic panels due to their unsightly characteristics. This is why flexible photovoltaic roofs were born and this is also why this particular was developed "solar paint“.

The non-use of silicon is positive in view of the increase in the price of solar cells based on silicon. The discovery is in its initial phase and for this reason completely experimental: to see them on the market it will be necessary to wait about 5 years. The use of "smart" paints could finally lead to the use of alternative energies through a non-unaesthetic choice.

With the spread of the "solar paint " there would be a tangible reduction in the costs of solar panels conventional, the reduction in costs is to be linked to the absence of silicon. It would also solve the problem of those who would like to install solar panels but have no space on their homes.

This blend can also be used to make printable versions of other electronic devices, such as light-emitting diodes, lasers or transistors. At the moment the energy capacity of the solar paint it is ten times smaller than silicon panels. Hard to say when this solar paint intelligent will become part of the second generation alternative energy solutions.

Video: Public Lecture. Paint-On Solar Cells: How the Magic Happens (October 2020).