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December 23, 2011 at 12:53 PMComments: 3 Faves: 0

Solar Power Your House with Paint? That's Sunbelievable!

By Laura Hogg More Blogs by This Author

You'll have to excuse me for the pun in the title - but actually, I can't even take the credit (or blame, depending on how you feel about puns). "Sunbelievable" is what developers are calling a new paint that, believe it or not, could actually generate solar energy for your home.

Solar power has always been an intriguing idea, but let's be honest - none but the "greenest" of us all have ever actually wanted to install expensive, ugly solar panels on our house. "Sunbelievable" would be a vast improvement - without the financial burden of our current solar technology. And cosmetic concerns are a non-issue, say developers - the paint looks no different than any other.

But how does it work? According to research leader Prashant Kamat, the paint makes "power-producing nanoparticles, called quantum dots, into a spreadable compound."

My nanoparticle knowledge is just a tad rusty, so I'll take this word for it. But here's something even I can understand: "We've made a one-coat solar paint that can be applied to any conductive surface without special equipment...[and] this paint can be made cheaply and in large quantities."

Unfortunately, this paint isn't available at your local Home Depot just yet. The paint's light-to-energy conversion rate is currently at just 1% - a far cry from the 10-15% efficiency of solar panels currently in use - so more development is needed. But once that conversion rate goes up, I think we'll be putting a lot of painters in business.

What do you think? Would you repaint your house if it meant saving on energy bills?


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  • If the paint is inexpensive like they say it is, I would definitely repaint my house to save on energy bills.

    Especially right the winter months progress, I will hold each new energy bill in my hand and wince as I see the total rise.

    Although the sun does shine less in the winter...any little bit of sun absorbed into this sort of paint would help!

    I am all for it.

    Thanks for posting another great, natureREport blog!

  • How durable is the paint?

  • unfortunately, rather than providing the paint 'cheaply' as it can be produced, it will most certainly be made available at a price that the 'market' can bear. What does that mean? No one will use it. Sorry, just kind of feeling the failure of too many awesome ideas these days. Until people change their fundamental drive from that of profiteering to accomplishing, we remain in our current state of entropy.

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