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