Scientist's New Solar Panel Tech: Paint Your Home For Power

Forget old-news solar-power shingles: a team from Swansea in the UK have found a way of creating solar "panel" paint. A by-product of their research into degrading paint on steel surfaces, their invention is applied in layers to steel cladding, and converts a gentle 5% of inbound solar energy to electricity. Sounds like not much, until you multiply it up over the surface area of a building.

It seems like a great eco-friendly idea, especially when you consider project leader Dave Worsley's figures: if just one manufacturer made all their steel cladding energy-producing, it would have the same generator capacity as 50 wind farms.

Admittedly it's more "paint your warehouse" than "paint your home", since few of us have steel walls or roofs on our abode, but it's still pretty nifty. The technology in the Swansea Solar Paint project is apparently easily scalable, so it may only be a matter of time until it's being cranked out by the square yard, saving the environment and generating the 1.21 gigawatts of power needed to send you Back to the Fut— ... well, you get the point. [Inhabitat]