Spray-on Solar Power

Pretty soon, powering your tablet could be as simple as wrapping it in cling wrap. Scientists have just invented a new way to spray solar cells onto flexible surfaces using miniscule light-sensitive materials known as colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) — a major step toward making spray-on solar cells easy and cheap to manufacture.

“My dream is that one day you’ll have two technicians with Ghostbusters backpacks come to your house and spray your roof,” said Kramer, a post-doctoral fellow with The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto and IBM Canada’s Research and Development Centre.

Solar-sensitive CQDs printed onto a flexible film could be used to coat all kinds of weirdly shaped surfaces, from patio furniture to an airplane’s wing. A surface the size of your car’s roof wrapped with CQD-coated film would produce enough energy to power three 100-Watt light bulbs — or 24 compact fluorescents.

He calls his system sprayLD, a play on the manufacturing process called ALD, short for atomic layer deposition, in which materials are laid down on a surface one atom-thickness at a time



5 thoughts on “Spray-on Solar Power

  1. I often sit here on a cold but sunny day in northern Ohio with my gas furnace blasting away while my south-facing windows are bathed in warm sunlight. How absurd for the 21st century!

  2. We all know that the solutions to all of energy needs are already here. I was just admiring the designer, Philippe Starke’s design for a economic passive power residential building that even on a cloudy day produces twice the energy it consumed. Starke is truly a force for good in an ugly world. I ate at his Bistro in the Flea Market in Paris a few months ago. A very good example of how he tries to mix common sense ideas with his incredible sense of style and make the results available to everyone. It’s not as if we need a “Manhattan Project” to invent new passive energy technology. Do we have to have a revolution to destroy the energy monopolies that are working so hard to keep these solutions out of our hands? It is sheer and simple greed and the madness to reap immediate profits that is destroying our planet. We have the solutions in our hands. Hmmm…you post and the link is very interesting…I see marketing possibilities already…spray on solar powered swimwear? I’m all for spray on energy efficient clothes….maybe I can finally get a pair of pants that fit right!

    1. The European model of which you write is terribly foreign to we, American colonists. Some here in the colonies are still reeling from the 14th Amendment! They have no energy left to discuss such things as passive solar energy. They may be ready, say in another 20-30 years.

  3. 20-30 years too late? Well, sorry, you lose. 20-30 years will be much too late. That’s just about the projected time span for the beginning of the 6th major extinction event of the history of life on earth….only, this time, it might be the major accomplishment of the human race. Hey, hyuck, hyuck, look what ah did……………………..Thank you Ayn Rand!

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