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Published on September 23rd, 2009 | by Jeff Kart

12

Solar Paint Could Make Those White Roofs Even Better



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U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu was on to something when he suggested we start painting our roofs white to fight climate change.

We’ll soon be able to use a specialized paint to collect rooftop solar energy, too. Could this be the answer to neighborhood Christmas light wars?

The stuff is called silicon ink, and the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory says that solar cells using the technology have “demonstrated a record 18 percent conversion of efficiency,” according to cnet.com.

Innovalight Inc. is working with JA Solar Holdings Limited to commercialize next-generation sun catchers that use the ink — basically silicon chemically converted into liquid. The solution can be printed onto any surface with an off-the-shelf industrial printer, the company says.

Innovalight says the process can result in highly efficient, ultra-thin solar cells, doubling production time compared to conventional technology.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Germany, the same name that brought us MP3s, also has verified the 18 percent conversion results.

Music to our ears?

(Image Credit: Innovalight)

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About the Author

is typing about issues in the Great Lakes, from advanced biofuels to zero-emission vehicles. Jeff is an environmental journalist and social media evangelist based in Michigan, where the summers are short, the winters are cold, and the stories are plentiful.



  • Colibri

    I think The InfamousOne really had a point. Forget about the names capitalist, liberals and just THINK the recycling of this product is an important matter, as well as the effects of the chemicals. But this is unfortunately for the USA all too commun behavior first do and then think about the consequences… Is truly the Real American like that, I dare hope not!

  • Colibri

    I think The InfamousOne really had a point. Forget about the names capitalist, liberals and just THINK the recycling of this product is an important matter, as well as the effects of the chemicals. But this is unfortunately for the USA all too commun behavior first do and then think about the consequences… Is truly the Real American like that, I dare hope not!

  • The Real American

    First of to the last post: This is America and talking down Capitialism tells everyone a lot about you. You seem to like fat moronic Michael Moore (or you are him), your a liberal that voted for Obama, and your bent on changing America into some socialist society where the people are just given everything and told what to do. Somewhere down the road you Liberals were brainwashed into thinking that hard working people that make more money than you are evil and they need to redistribute all that extra money.

    Thank God for intelligent entrepreneurs. I hope they change the world with their products, and that they also get richly rewarded.

  • The Real American

    First of to the last post: This is America and talking down Capitialism tells everyone a lot about you. You seem to like fat moronic Michael Moore (or you are him), your a liberal that voted for Obama, and your bent on changing America into some socialist society where the people are just given everything and told what to do. Somewhere down the road you Liberals were brainwashed into thinking that hard working people that make more money than you are evil and they need to redistribute all that extra money.

    Thank God for intelligent entrepreneurs. I hope they change the world with their products, and that they also get richly rewarded.

  • TheInfamousOne

    What worried me is that he says he’s a capitalist, not an environmentalist. Even though he’s thinking of ways to create new energy, read between the lines.

    What a capitalist does is instead of making self sustaining product that last a long time, he’ll build a cheap product and create “planned obsolescence”.

    Cheap products to him means “to make it cheap for his company” and “sell it for big dollars”.

    That’s what capitalist do.

    Also, what kind of chemicals is this paint made of? What are the affects of this paint when heated over time? Will it dissipate chemicals into the air and create more pollution? When replacing this product, how can it be recycled? Or will it go to the dump as waste? I don’t hear any of these questions being raised when watching this video. This guy is out to get rich quick and could care less about what his product does to the environment.

  • TheInfamousOne

    What worried me is that he says he’s a capitalist, not an environmentalist. Even though he’s thinking of ways to create new energy, read between the lines.

    What a capitalist does is instead of making self sustaining product that last a long time, he’ll build a cheap product and create “planned obsolescence”.

    Cheap products to him means “to make it cheap for his company” and “sell it for big dollars”.

    That’s what capitalist do.

    Also, what kind of chemicals is this paint made of? What are the affects of this paint when heated over time? Will it dissipate chemicals into the air and create more pollution? When replacing this product, how can it be recycled? Or will it go to the dump as waste? I don’t hear any of these questions being raised when watching this video. This guy is out to get rich quick and could care less about what his product does to the environment.

  • infowarskc

    Dude what are u talking about? Try touching your car after driving the arizona or better yet through death valley in california. After that put your hand on your car and tell me u don’t feel the energy…

  • infowarskc

    Dude what are u talking about? Try touching your car after driving the arizona or better yet through death valley in california. After that put your hand on your car and tell me u don’t feel the energy…

  • http://www.solartown.com Kristen

    This is such an awesome idea. I would totally paint my roof with this. Alex, I’m not sure it would work on cars because of their movement, but that is a neat idea.

  • http://www.solartown.com Kristen

    This is such an awesome idea. I would totally paint my roof with this. Alex, I’m not sure it would work on cars because of their movement, but that is a neat idea.

  • http://www.rentinaix.com Alex

    What about the paint on our cars? take away the need for batteries and replace them with a new paintjob? This in my eyes is genius and can be applied in so many ways. I cant wait to see what will be hi tech after i graduate college and start work as an architect.

  • http://www.rentinaix.com Alex

    What about the paint on our cars? take away the need for batteries and replace them with a new paintjob? This in my eyes is genius and can be applied in so many ways. I cant wait to see what will be hi tech after i graduate college and start work as an architect.

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