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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?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/UPpvPAriAOY&hl=en&fs=1&]

(Image Credit: Innovalight)

 
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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.

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