New paint additive turns any surface into a solar panel
A new additive for paints, coatings and flooring could transform any surface into a solar energy receptor.
A group of Argentine, British and Swiss scientists developed SolarLayer as an additive for paints, coatings and flooring that transforms any surface into a solar energy receptor. Through its application, any roof, wall, street or path becomes a photovoltaic generator, that works as a replacement or supplement to the traditional power grid. This technology is designed to work in 3V or 12V and is expected to lasts for more than 20 years. SolarLayer is a registered and patented product, created by a group of scientists who believe that it will revolutionize photovoltaic power.
The product has already been tested and implemented in different parts of the world. In order to bring SolarLayer from the lab to the market, the scientists are now in a second stage of research and development, for which they are calling interested people to finance the project through www.indiegogo.com.
Bringing the system to market will allow consumers to use solar energy without changing the existing aesthetics of homes and roads.
Among the main applications its designers considered were street lighting, electrification of SOS posts, parking lighting, public offices and homes. The system can be used as a replacement or support to the electric grid. It can also be of major help for refugee camps, where tents can be sprayed with SolarLayer paint to generate electricity.
Consumer use of this technology should dramatically increase the use of renewable energies, reducing fossil energy requirements, fixed government costs and can even mean a tax reduction.
How does it work?
The developers plan to publish a nano-molecular scientific paper later this year to reveal the scientific grounds of the invention. Simply put for now, the SolarLayer is a system composed of three basic elements: a fiber conductor, photovoltaic cells and a voltage stabilizer.
The conductor is a super thin 2μm (microns) copper-based alloy fiber that acts as the basic conducting surface. This fiber can be fabricated as a cloth or as a powder.
The photovoltaic cells are the most and revolutionary of the three components. They have the capacity to transform light sources to electricity, to work as an intelligent conductor and to sense the magnetic North. The cells'surfaces have a series of conducting and non-conducting areas. Through a special process, each photovoltaic cell is able to use these areas to intelligently allow and stop energy flow from and to the fiber conductor avoiding a shortcut chaos. Most importantly, each cell will re-route energy coming from the fiber to the magnetic north. This is the way by which instead of thousands of possible destinations, the flow of energy always finds its way to the magnetic North where the conductor will end and the electric current is trapped by a special copper wire.
The third component is the tension stabilizer that receives electric current from different parts of the conductor fibre by the copper wire and it stabilizes it before generating a useful current output.
Once the electrical output is obtained, this system is connected to the house grid.
Read more about home solar power.