Spray-On Solar-Power Cells Are True Breakthrough

May 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Wind and Solar

SOLAR REVOLUTION – Solar Paint Ted Sargent is a pioneer in solar science. He’s working on solar technology that could literally be woven into every aspect of daily life, from our clothes to our roads, using what is known as a spray-on solar cell. The implications for our energy systems are profound. As Ted says, “Solar energy is not just an exciting science problem, but an incredibly important human problem.” Ted is working on solar nanotechnology with the potential to make solar energy very cheap and allow society to collect it on a huge scale. Currently, solar technology costs more to build and install than most people are willing to pay. Solar panels, for example, the technology most commonly associated with solar energy, are installed on your rooftop. The cost of collecting one kilowatt per hour of solar energy (about a third of the electricity an average household uses on any given day) is about 000. Not only are panels expensive to install, they capture only the visible portion of the sun’s rays so they work only on sunny days. Ted’s focus is the infrared portion of the sun’s rays which accounts for more than half of all solar energy. What’s more, infrared energy is available to us even in cloudy weather. A quantum dot is a semiconductor nanostructure that confines the motion of conduction band electrons, valence band holes, or excitons (bound pairs of conduction band electrons and valence band holes) in all three spatial directions. The confinement can be due to