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Colorful Idea Sparks Renewable Electricity From Painting Solar Cells

By DanLM ·
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080306223745.htm

"One of our Engineering Doctorate students was researching how sunlight interacts with paint and degrades it, which led to us developing a new photovoltaic method of capturing solar energy.?

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He said: ?Corus Colours produces around 100 million square metres of steel building cladding a year. If this was treated with the photovoltaic material, and assuming a conservative 5% energy conversion rate, then we could be looking at generating 4,500 gigawatts of electricity through the solar cells annually. That?s the equivalent output of roughly 50 wind farms.?


Hmmm, I'm trying to picture how this would work. I understand, well... I can picture how the paint would produce energy from the radiation... But what would go from there... Could this be applied to any building that this special paint was used on when making the steel cladding..

By the way, what is steel cladding?

If this can work in britan, then it would be applicable to any northern city I would think. Nothern geographic area's are kind of limited in their alternate energy choices. I know. Hydroelectric, wind farms, energy from landfill gas(god, we have alot of those here), wave farms maybe in certain locations. But, this has some promise for everyone.
Dan

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Very interesting...

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to Colorful Idea Sparks Rene ...

While a potentially bad analogy, perhaps it would 'work' something along the lines of the way in which brick and similar building materials absorb energy, with the exception that the energy absorbed is actively directed into production of electricity rather than simply radiating its energy [only in part] at the inhabitant/s.

I'm impressed by some of the progress we are making towards sustainable energy sources, but surely do wish that the technology would become more easily and affordably applied to homes before my time is up!

"Cladding is the covering of one material with another. It has different meanings depending on the context."
"In metallurgy, cladding is the bonding together of dissimilar metals. It is distinct from welding or gluing as a method to fasten the metals together. Cladding is often achieved by extruding two metals through a die or pressing sheets together under high pressure."

So apparently steel cladding is the covering of some material with steel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cladding

edit darn it all: Thanks for that.

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Sounds very interesting

by NickNielsen In reply to Colorful Idea Sparks Rene ...

From the context, I think "steel building cladding" in this case is siding. From the Corus Colours website:

"Corus Colors is an international business with over 40 years experience in the development and manufacture of pre-finished steels.

Applications include:

* Building Envelope - roof and wall
* Domestic appliances
* Consumer products
* Bakeware
* Specialist applications"

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Like to see figures

by paulob In reply to Sounds very interesting

I don't know what basis their power generated figure comes from. Is the figure derived from all the cladding in a single line in open paddocks(fields) and facing directly North or South (pick your hemisphere) at the optimum angle. Or was it taken from a building in a warehouse district surrounded by other buildings, the building having 4 walls so at best 1/4 of the cladding would face North/South?

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