Paint on Solar Power!

150_paintonsolarpowerDave Worsley and a team of engineers at Swansea University were researching ways to protect steel when they hit on the idea of painting sheets of steel with solar cell paint.
The idea is to coat every piece of steel cladding with a solar cell paint. As steel is passed through the rollers multiple coatings of of the solar cell system are applied to it. Based on the preliminary research, the materials that are being applied are suited to capturing low level solar radiation, which means that they should work just as well in areas where the sun doesn’t directly shine on them.

The innovation here is to equip the materials before building construction instead of adding solar paint as an afterthought.
If the Solar Paint project gets off the ground, it is expected that they would be able to press around 30 to 40m2 a minute. This may not sound like much, but put it into perspective: according to Dr. Worsley, if all the steel cladding produced by just one manufacturer was produced to be energy generating, at a very conservative energy exchange rate of 5%, it would be the equivalent of 50 wind farms, or roughly 4,500 gigawatts of electricity, per year.

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