Thursday, January 13, 2005

Power Paint

With todays increasing knowledge in materials and semiconductors, and our growing expertise in nanotechnology, it should be no surprise that there are various labs and working groups across the planet that are working on new, exciting photovoltaic devices and processes that can drasticly reduce the cost of solar power and virtually change everything else too.

Part of my daily routine envolves scanning worldwide for new announcements which support my belief that we truly are on the cusp of such devices and that there is every reason to be hopeful for their introduction and acceptance into the public and private energy infrastructure.

Imagine a power paint that can be applied to almost any man made surface that will turn that wall, that roof, that south facing shed roof into a solar generator. Even better, imagine that surface being in the fibers in your T Shirt.

Imagine these surfaces taking the energy in the deaccelerated photon

and converting that energy into electrical energy.

Imagine this material to be ubiquitous and more or less non toxic.


Here is a nice piece from last weekend:

TORONTO - Researchers at the University of Toronto have invented an infrared-sensitive material that's five times more efficient at turning the sun's power into electrical energy than current methods.

The discovery could lead to shirts and sweaters capable of recharging our cellphones and other wireless devices, said Ted Sargent, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the university.

Sargent and other researchers combined specially-designed minute particles called quantum dots, three to four nanometres across, with a polymer to make a plastic that can detect energy in the infrared.

Infrared light is not visible to the naked eye but it is what most remote controls emit, in small amounts, to control devices such as TVs and DVD players.

It also contains a huge untapped resource -- despite the surge in popularity of solar cells in the 1990s, we still miss half of the sun's power, Sargent said.

"In fact, there's enough power from the sun hitting the Earth every day to supply all the world's needs for energy 10,000 times over,'' Sargent said in a phone interview Sunday from Boston. He is currently a visiting professor of nanotechnology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Sargent said the new plastic composite is, in layman's terms, a layer of film that "catches'' solar energy. He said the film can be applied to any device, much like paint is coated on a wall.

"We've done the same thing, but not with something that just sit there on the wall the way paint does,'' said the Ottawa native.

"We've done it to make a device which actually harnesses the power in the room in the infrared.''

The film can convert up to 30 per cent of the sun's power into usable, electrical energy. Today's best plastic solar cells capture only about six per cent.

What is really fun about this heat based or infrared technology, is that it not only completely destroys any reason to produce electricity with coal, nuclear, or for that matter even wind, it also completely changes our air-conditioning industry too. That in turn, completely changes the loads that utilities must meet in warm climates.

Why spend energy to remove heat from a room when you can paint the walls and ceilings to suck the heat off of the body creating comfort at the skin level? Even better, that so called waste heat would then produce usable power to power the new solid state lights painted on the ceiling or on other walls that are simply the same product working in reverse! These devices could create usable light or heat or both.

They are a creme rinse, a floor wax, and a dessert topping.

These ideas were in my future log writings just three years ago.

Instead of being a "futurist", I am beginning to feel like a "nowist".

It certainly fires up the Hope.

For the earthfamily.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

this story is amazing. the oil companies will surely buy it and kill it.

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about at night? how can solar replace power plants at night?

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is very good news I think.

10:26 AM  
Blogger oZ said...

I will handle the issue of nightime later in detail, but for now, let me say this, very inexpensive solar and wind is very good news. Saving this energy for later use at night is not a show stopper by any means. However, most energy is used during the day. Utilities run at half speed at night. much more on this later.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we must have fuel to burn or our civilization will collapse. period.

9:57 PM  
Blogger John Hamre said...

You write excellent blog posts and the subjects you choose to write about make fantastic reading, but I just want you to know that I’m on to your game. I just went through your entire blog and cut and pasted the highlighted words within your blog posts onto notepad and the results of this produced a most interesting commentary. I hope that I don’t have to turn this over to the Department of Homeland Security but I will do so unless a proper extortion fee is paid.

I have to admit, you are clever. But not so clever as to deceive this guy from the Dakota Territories.


10:01 AM  
Blogger oZ said...

go to the corner of 3rd and Wilshire, there is a coffee shop there with a wireless signal. bring your computer. come alone. date and time coded.

10:56 PM  
Blogger John Hamre said...


thanks for having a sense of humor.


9:40 AM  
Blogger oZ said...

humour is the lubricant of culture.

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am seeing this story all over the place now. No body takes it as far as you do.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Julie O'Neil/Werner Grundl said...

Hi Oz.
Great article. I just came back from Sedon, AZ and met a guy from "" they reprint an article published in New Zealand about a group in South Africa making P.V. with 1/4 thickness of a hair, producing much more electicity and cheaper, than current products. 2007 should be an interesting time for the market. Big change coming.

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somebody has already invented a wall paint that will heat your house but the government insisted on buying all the intelligence surrounding it, put a gagging order on the inventor and "made it disappear!" Why? Because it would be a one off application that lasts a lifetime and they would not get any ongoing tax revenue. They then put out the propaganda that they are looking into such technologies as a smoke screen. Anyone with half a brain knows the government will jump on inventions like this purely because of the damaging effect it will have on their income from energy taxation.

5:53 AM  

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