It’s a solar revolution

Photo from Creative Commons

The industry of solar panels has rapidly grown over the past decade as people start to turn toward it as the energy solution for the future. Solar technology has been made lighter, more efficient and considerably cheaper than it used to be. That said, it is still further down the road before it can be seen as the energy solution of the future many are hoping for. However, there is a bright light in a type of solar technology known as solar paint.

Solar paint works like this. In each drop of solar paint there are thousands upon thousands of tubes of nano-particles. These particles are light sensitive and will, as they dry, begin to automatically arrange themselves into a light effective grid. Solar paint is easy to spread on just about any surface, making it into a relatively cheap, light-weight alternative to most commonplace solar panels. This allows them to be just about anywhere and everywhere possible, creating an interesting new alternative to solar paneling. Solar paint is by nature more efficient than standard solar technology due to the arrangement of the nano-tubes that allow it to capture a large area of the light spectrum compared to solar panels.

As exciting as solar paint may be, the only working prototypes of it are extremely expensive to produce. The upside is their high efficiency and the volume you get per production. Several companies are hard at work trying to make solar paint cheaper and easy to mass produce. One such company, NextGen Solar, has begun a hype war claiming that their version of solar paint, once completed, will not only be much cheaper than the current alternative, it will also have an efficiency of 40 percent. This is just one of the signs of how intense the solar market has become in the recent years. Fierce competition between solar start-ups has been good for the advancement of the coming technology.

While solar paint may be the buzz at the moment, solar ink deserves just as much attention. It works on many of the same principles as solar paint, and while a bit less efficient, it has as much potential, if not more. Solar ink is able to print solar cells on thin, flexible plastic or rubber sheets. These sheets weigh a fraction of the weight that previous versions of solar panels weighed, allowing them to go on buildings where they may not typically have been able to go before due to structural reasons.

Photo from Creative Commons

No matter how you look at it, the future of solar is going to be liquid of some form or another. This is just a sign of how the growing energy crisis of the future is encouraging the people of the now to step up and take the initiative to make a difference and provide a reasonable and cheap solution for the masses. The future for green tech companies will be green indeed when the time comes to make the change from fossil to something else.