There are some chores in life that must be done despite being a drag to go through. Among them include mowing the lawn and painting the fence, but then again that’s what children (when they’re old enough, of course) are for, right? One of the bigger challenges would be painting your home, and woe to you if you have a relatively huge house. Giving your abode a fresh coat of paint on the outside every five years will definitely keep the neighborhood looking spiffy, but how many of us actually look forward to that “event”, preferring instead to lounge in our armchairs while flipping channels on the TV? What happens if I tell you that there is a new type of paint that covers your home with a lovely coat of energy generating solar cells? That news ought to make you jump right off your seat at roll up those sleeves almost immediately.
This is no doubt one of the most interesting developments in solar panel technology to date, and researchers from the New Jersey Institute of Technology have already laid claim to developing a solar cell that can be painted on flexible plastic sheets. Findings of this new type of paint have already been presented in a paper for the Journal of Materials Chemistry, describing how the marriage of carbon nanotubes complex and carbon Buckyball molecule will be able to create snake-like molecular structures. Natural sunlight will excite the polymer backing, where it in turn releases electrons.
The Buckyball molecule will then capture the electrons and flow them towards a preferred direction when liked to a nanotube. This will definitely be one of the cheapest ways to include solar cells into any home or even surface should it be made available to everyone at an affordable price in the near future. It is hoped that homeowners will one day be able to print sheets of such solar cells in the comfort of their own home using inkjet printers. No idea how all the power gained will be routed to a central generator though if you slap such printed solar cells liberally all over your home. The idea of using renewable energy is always altruistic and such developments definitely bode well for our future generations.