University of Toronto and Spray-On Solar Power Technology ( Solar Thermal Magazine ) – Solar panel technology today is typically silicon based with various doping materials or more synthetic in nature such as thin film technology. The silicon based cells and completed modules tend to be the heaviest and require the most effort to install. In contrast thin film solar modules are easier to install but due to their inherently lower conversion efficiency you will need a lot more surface area dedicated to it to achieve the same power output.
What if you could skip all of these manufacturing and installation steps and just spray your solar material on straight on the surface? This would change everything for sure.
What could we not spray solar on? That would be more of a question than what we could right. This all seems like some kind of dream technology that is far from being a reality right?
However a University of Toronto researcher has taken the first steps in producing what he believes will be the solar technology of the future.
“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.According to the U of T team, 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.Kramer 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.Enjoy the possibilities.
About Gordon Smith Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.