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"Spray-On Solar Cells Energize Almost Any Surface"

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posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 09:49 AM
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Inhabitat


Spray-on solar cells may sound like a high-end development, but the technology actually stands to be cheaper than traditional solar panels. “The sun provides a nearly unlimited energy resource, but existing solar energy harvesting technologies are prohibitively expensive and cannot compete with fossil fuels,” says chemical engineer Brian Korgel of the University of Texas at Austin whose team is developing the graffiti-capable solar cells.

The process is still in the works - thus far, the prototypes that have been developed can only convert 1% of the sunlight that hits the cell into electricity. The goal conversion is 10%, so there is still quite a way to go. “If it works, I think you could see it being used in three to five years,” explains Korgel.


Very cool tech that would make a huge dent in the current disadvantage in solar power vrs standard fossil fuel power. 3 to 5 years is really no time at all. Something to keep an eye on for sure.




posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 09:58 AM
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I've been talking about this for years. Not talking about how to do it, as I'm no scientist. But I have been saying for a long time, "wouldn't it be cool if we had photovoltaic paint?"...

Imagine all the lightposts being painted with this stuff, having it integrated into the insulation on overhead powerlines, Basically every surface exposed to the sun could be collecting energy.

Brilliant!
I'm glad someone is actually working on it.

[edit on 8/25/2009 by nasdack24k]



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 01:29 PM
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Pity we will never see it, or it will be outragously expensive once it is out to where nobody actually uses it except for the very wealthy environmentalists.


just being a realist. They could have a fighting chance if they released it at 1%...but having 10% collecting will harm the oil industry..cant have that happen now, can we.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 01:35 PM
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reply to post by SaturnFX
 


Realist aka pessimist! haha yeah you are probably right... Oh well, hopefully zero-point will be ready to go instead -- thats what I'm really looking forward to.

but how sweet would it be to literally paint a generator wherever you wanted...

Thanks for info.




posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 01:37 PM
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It's a great start. I agree that it'll probably be extremely expensive to start, but hey, remember how much money a CB radio cost in 1976. They were several hundred dollars, now you can get 2 with a magazine subscription, LOL

eventually, regardless of how much it will cost to begin with, it will come down.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 02:07 PM
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So basically the possibility of a car where the paint is the power source. Good idea.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 03:07 PM
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Originally posted by SaturnFX
Pity we will never see it, or it will be outragously expensive once it is out to where nobody actually uses it except for the very wealthy environmentalists.


just being a realist. They could have a fighting chance if they released it at 1%...but having 10% collecting will harm the oil industry..cant have that happen now, can we.


Anybody who disagrees with you should remember electric cars and how they too were killed off when they started to pose a threat and get too much word of mouth.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 03:54 PM
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Thanks for the article. This is being researched heavily at UC and in Silicon Valley. I think it shows great promise!


MIT's Technology Review has a good survey of some of the venture capital start-ups pursuing development of cheaper methods for producing photovoltaic solar cells.

At least one startup may beat Siemens to that goal. Konarka is now gearing up to manufacture its novel photovoltaic film, which it expects to start selling next year. Unlike Siemens’s, Konarka’s films don’t use buckyballs, instead relying on tiny semiconducting particles of titanium dioxide coated with light-absorbing dyes, bathed in an electrolyte, and embedded in plastic film. But like Siemens’s solar cells, Konarka’s can be easily and cheaply made.

The article also covers an interesting approach by a company called Nanosolar.

Down the road, researchers hope to boost nano solar cells’ power output and make them even easier to deploy, eventually spraying them directly onto almost any surface. Palo Alto, CA-based startup Nanosolar, which has raised $5 million in venture capital, is working on making this idea practical. The company is exploiting the latest techniques for automatically assembling nanomaterials into precisely ordered architectures—all with a higher degree of control than ever before possible.

Nanosolar’s approach is disarmingly simple. Researchers spray a cocktail of alcohol, surfactants (substances like those used in detergents), and titanium compounds on a metal foil. As the alcohol evaporates, the surfactant molecules bunch together into elongated tubes, erecting a molecular scaffold around which the titanium compounds gather and fuse. In just 30 seconds a block of titanium oxide bored through with holes just a few nanometers wide rises from the foil. Fill the holes with a conductive polymer, add electrodes, cover the whole block with a transparent plastic, and you have a highly efficient solar cell.


Full Article



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 04:12 PM
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10% is really bad, conventional solar panels today get around 45%.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 04:49 PM
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Originally posted by manmaidslave
10% is really bad, conventional solar panels today get around 45%.


nope this thread that i just posted is about how the University of New South Wales in Australia just developed the most efficient cell ever at 42.7%.

In fact average efficiency today is between 10% to 20% link

'Spray on Cells' will change the field not because the increase efficiency of production but of cost and coverage.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 05:00 PM
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I remember hearing Hoagland all excited about this 2 - 3 years ago. We'll see what happens! A really good solar energy absorber is the hair on top of your head(or at least mine is...)



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 06:08 PM
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It's a start, would only take a change in building code for this to be standard on all new builds, if every house had 10sq ft of solar on the roof the reduction in energy produced my fossil would be massive.

However it doesn't say what the life of the nano solar panels is, 5 years, 10 years and hundred. Might not be so cost effective if they need replacing a 5 years. You need something that with pay for itself in the shortest amount of time.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 06:23 PM
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reply to post by SaturnFX
 


I never understood this point of view. These oil people are worth billions and billions. If there were a viable threat to their bottom line coming down the pipe why wouldnt they just buy the tech or buy heavily into thr companies responsible for the tech. This way no matter what the public uses for energy they stand to profit.

Either the oil people are stupidly attached to only making money one particular way, too stupid to invest in a marketable idea for profit (marketable by real investment standards not by feel-good tree-hugging standards), or the public who shares this view just assumes the oil people are any one of the above.

As far as I know there is no law stating a widget maker can only invest in widgets or cannot embark on opening a wazzit plant while remaining in the widget business.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 06:25 PM
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Originally posted by manmaidslave
10% is really bad, conventional solar panels today get around 45%.


Yeah, that is really bad. With 10% you would need a huge surface area to power anything significant, I suspect.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 06:32 PM
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I hope it will come in tasteful colors.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 06:49 PM
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How aer we going to store it or put it into currents or transmit it "into the grid?"



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 10:11 PM
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Originally posted by ladyinwaiting
I hope it will come in tasteful colors.


Tastefuly black.

Really is any color inportant compared to the money saved and the lack of pollution.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 10:49 PM
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Originally posted by DaMod
So basically the possibility of a car where the paint is the power source. Good idea.


Just having the paint keep the battery charged would be great.

Never going to your car and finding the battery dead would be amazing.


MBF

posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 10:51 PM
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If every house had a tin roof and it was coated with this spray on solar cell, this would make a huge dent in our fuel usage. Even with a few percent efficiency, if you have several hundred square feet of roof area, you would have a large output.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 11:15 PM
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reply to post by Animal
 


That would be awesome. I've always dreamed of living on a sailboat....spray on solar panels for boats....imagine the possibilities!! Never having to worry about running out of gas/electricity in the middle of the ocean. All you would have to do is spray the sails, and viola!



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