image: Spark Solar
A couple months ago, the idea of painted on solar power was proposed by Corus Group, a steel manufacturer. This method would require the steel sheets being passed through coating rollers at the time of manufacture. Now, researchers in Australia are investigating spray-on solar power: Finland’s Braggone Oy and Australia’s Spark Solar have announced that they will be collaborating on developing solar panels which have the solar coating sprayed on.
The method sprays hydrogen film and anti-reflective film on a conveyor belt. Traditionally, solar facilities use the plasma form of hydrogen and a vacuum method to deposit silicon nitrate as an anti-reflective coating. The two factors add significantly to the cost of a solar production facility, and the researchers said a spray-on method could reduce a medium-sized factory's overall cost by about AUD$5 million. (Cleantech)
The procedure is currently undergoing tests, which its developers hope will enable them to bring the panels into commercial production by 2011.