Thursday, July 10, 2008
Paint-on solar panels could boost current energy efficiency by 50 percent while making new solar panel installations virtually invisible by painting organic dyes onto windows. By absorbing light and transporting energy to panel edges, developers of the paint-on solar panels said they could lower cost by only requiring active solar cells around a panel edges. Solar concentrators usually have to track the sun with mirrors or light troughs, then dissipate heat building up at their focal points, according to Marc Baldoat, an engineering professor at the Massachusetts Institute of technology. His organic-dye coating process absorbs the light without mirrors, has no focal point to heat up and requires no moving parts. Edge-mounted solar cells, where light is concentrated by as much as 40 times, then convert the energy to electricity.
Posted by R. Colin Johnson at 11:00 AM