Dr. Nathaniel Davis of the University of Wellington Victoria’s School of Chemical and Physical Sciences said he and his research group are at an important turning point in their research on solar energy. He is working on solar “paint” that can replace solar panels.
The new paint is designed to be applied to the roof of a building to better absorb the light needed to power a home using solar energy.
“The paint contains luminescent molecules that absorb and emit light, which directs sunlight towards solar panels,” explains Dr. Davis.
Unlike the larger (and more expensive) solar panels currently available, Dr. Davis’s solution will involve a single coat of paint and a narrow border of solar panels about the width of a finger. The combination of roof paint and small panels is designed to generate enough electricity to fully power the home.
The average cost of solar panels in New Zealand is around US $ 9,000 for materials and installation. Scientists hope that solar paint will cost much less because once applied, it will last for decades. Also, there is no need to install large and expensive solar panels, which will make the use of solar energy more affordable for the average person. The system will also work with any existing solar panel technology on the market. In his work, Dr. Davis uses his own technology of “solar concentrators” which is placed in a piece of plastic or glass, which captures sunlight and sends it to solar panels.
“In addition to positively impacting climate change and protecting the environment with renewable energy, this paint will also significantly reduce the cost of using electricity in the home,” concludes Dr. Davis.