Using the sun to power homes and commercial buildings may soon be as easy as applying a coat of paint.
NextGen Solar, a renewable energy startup, has announced that it will be using solar “paint” developed by Argonne National Laboratory to supply easy-to-install and inexpensive solar energy to customers.
The solar paint can be sprayed or painted on to many building surfaces, including roofs and windows, according to a story on Solarfeeds.com.
The material is a liquid with nanoscale particles of solar cells that bind together in a strong and flexible coating when they dry.
The solar paint is more efficient than ultra-thin PV cells due to its ability to capture more wavelengths of light, reports Yahoo! News.
NextGen will attempt to successfully commercialize the spray-on solar material to make it affordable.
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It has raised half of the one million dollars it needs to launch the solar paint service, according to Yahoo! News.
Nanoscale solar technology is a growing research field around the country.
The University of South Florida (USF) has developed solar cells that are a quarter of the size of a 12 point font letter “O.” These cells can be sprayed or painted on most any surface and generate solar energy.
USF has been testing applications for the solar spray for the military. The material could be applied to soldiers’ clothing and gear and could replace heavy batteries for powering electronics in remote locations.
Wake Forest University has received the first patent for fiber based solar cells, which will be more powerful and less expensive than traditional solar cells.
In the Wake Forest technology, millions of miniscule plastic fibers are assembled onto flexible plastic sheet and a polymer sunlight absorber is sprayed on.
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