Hacked Gadgets Forum

October 11, 2011

Solar Paint

at 12:56 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, What Were They Thinking

When most of us think of solar power we think of solar panels or the new round Solyndra solar tubes that we were starting to see, too bad it looks like Solyndra is gone for good though. Is the future going to be solar paint? That would sure allow for growing the possible surfaces to harvest solar energy from. I can just imagine a future where vehicles have a solar paint and never need to be plugged in. Of course the jump from a functional solar power calculator to car is huge but I think it might happen some day. To be viable the system needs to be about 5 times more efficient than it currently is but seeing that it doubled in efficiency with 6 months of development there is a good chance this is possible.

Read More, PDF Article about the process

“We’re trying to develop a radically new approach to making solar cells by developing materials that can be painted or printed onto surfaces, like ink on newspaper. Right now, solar cells are made using relatively expensive materials deposition processes requiring very high temperatures and high vacuum. This makes it difficult to manufacture solar cells on very large area substrates, and the current processes are relatively slow. The need for high temperatures also limits the kinds of supports for the devices that can be used. For example, photovoltaic devices can’t be made on plastic substrates using the current approaches. The nanoparticle inks that we are making could ultimately be printed onto nearly any substrate, using low-cost roll-to-roll processes”


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One Response to “Solar Paint”

  1. Killbox Says:

    Its neat, and Im all for this type of materials science, but lets get one thing in the open first, the concept of a solar car is not practical! even if you could get 50% efficiency(completely out of the picture right now), the number of watts beaming down on a car during a typical day would only be a fraction of what it would need to get around the block. a single car.

    Basically each square foot of earth, gets pelted with about 100w of sun per hour, at 50% that is 50w at 10%that is 10watts per hour(10% is pretty common now days in PV),

    Now lets look at a Prius. speaking totally electrically (not the gas engine hybrid part)
    Prius primary motive battery is estimated to be between 850 and 1,300 watt-hours. The car uses 150-175 watt-hours per mile. so a range of about 5 miles conservative driving) and at 50% would need 17 square feet of solar (running at 50% efficiency) to charge it in an hour(of perfect sun) so perhaps if you cover every inch 8sq feet, you might get 5 miles every 2 hours of charge, on a more likely scale at (10%) you would need 85 square feet per hour, or lets say 10.6 square feet over 8 hours(of perfect sun), to go 5 miles.

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