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

Illustration for article titled Scientists 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]

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I love how folks who want to go green but cry at the negative "ROI".

I think anyone who is considering spending thousands to help the environment is clearly not making a decision solely based on ROI. You have to consider the point at which the technology pays for itself because, unlike an iPhone or automobile, solar energy will eventually pay for itself. This sort of renewable energy project is not going to be a status symbol like the iPhone or Prius, so the only real return on investment is a lower energy bill, and peace of mind.

The tough part for a cheapskate like me is finding the money to do it.