Inexpensive Solar Cell Paint One Step Closer After "Major Advance" in Research
TreeHugger has covered paint-on or spray-on solar cells on a number of occasions. The idea isn't new by any means. But some researchers from the University of Notre Dame say they have made a "major advance" towards making an inexpensive solar paint. They've called it (be prepared to groan) Sun-Believable.
Lead researcher Prashant Kamat:
By incorporating power-producing nanoparticles, called quantum dots, into a spreadable compound, we've made a one-coast solar paint that can be applied to any conductive surface without special equipment.
The best light-to-energy conversion efficiency we've reached so far is 1%, which is well below the usual 10-15% efficiency of commercial silicon solar cells. But this paint can be made cheaply and in large quantities. If we can improve the efficiency somewhat, we may be able to make a real difference in meeting energy needs in the future.