Ppg To Buy Solar Power For Paint Manufacturing Plant In Texas
The agreement was signed with Baltimore-headquartered energy retailer Constellation, a unit of Exelon Corporation , and concerns the Big Star Solar project. In August, it was announced that Constellation will buy most of the output of the particular solar project, being developed by RWE Renewables in Bastrop County, to serve a number of large commercial customers.
Under the terms of the new contract, PPG will receive energy and project-specific renewable energy certificates from Big Star over a period of 10 years. More specifically, the company will procure about 4.6 million kWh of energy per year by using the Constellation Offsite Renewables retail power product.
At PPG, one of our 2025 sustainability goals is to increase renewable energy to 25% of total electricity usage, exclusive of greenhouse gas reductions, said Diane Kappas, PPG vice president of global sustainability, adding that the company plans to expand renewable energy at other sites across the nation.
Solar Paint: The Next Big Thing In Renewable Energy
In 2016, the US solar industry contributed more than $150 billion in economic activity. When that kind of serious cash starts flooding an industry, you know new innovation isn’t far behind.
And what sounds more innovative than solar paint? A paint that can generate electricity, but still works as normal paint? The ability to turn not only a roof, but an entire building into a solar-generating surface? If that doesn’t scream innovation, then I don’t know what does.
So far, the lifeblood of the solar industry has been traditional photovoltaic solar panels. Solar panels are a well-proven technology that save homeowners a ton of money. However, the hassle and expense of rooftop panel installations often deter people from switching to solar energy.
Now imagine a world where we could simply paint our roofs and walls with a type of paint that can generate electricity. Though we’re pretty far off from actually implementing this technology, it’s still exciting to think about.
So, what is solar paint? The most important thing to know is that it isnt a single product currently there are three different technologies that are referred to as ‘solar paint’.
Want Cheap Solar Cells Paint Your Own Perovskite Solar Cell
Right in the middle of the Vogtle nuclear power debacle, the US Department of Energy pitches ultra-cheap perovskite solar cells.
Dont go running to your local toy store just yet to buy that paint-by-numbers DIY solar cell kit, but it or something like it could be on the market some day in the sparkling green future. The US Department of Energy is pitching low cost perovskite solar cells that anyone can make, with the right materials and a cheap paint brush.
Don’t Miss: What Amp Solar Controller Do I Need
Diy Perovskite Solar Cells: No Really
And now for the good news. For those of you new to the topic, perovskite refers to a class of synthetic material that mimics the properties of the naturally occurring mineral perovskite.
Researchers at NREL and elsewhere have become obsessed with exploiting the solar conversion properties of perovskites because they are incredibly cheap, and they can be formulated as an ink that can be literally painted onto a surface.
On the down side, synthetic perovskites are not weather-resistant, so perovskite solar cells need to be designed with a durability workaround.
In the meantime, NRELs latest pitch for perovskite solar cells leans heavily on the idea that practically anybody can apply a layer of perovskite solar material to a surface.
In other words, perovskites could go mainstream with a bang. Just take a stroll through the paint aisle of your local paint shop and consider the possibilities for at your fingertips:
Heres the lede from the new NREL article:
David Moore wields a cheap paintbrush, the kind youd buy at a hobby shop for less than a buck. With a steady, purple-gloved hand, he paints a yellowish liquid onto a specially prepared piece of glass about the size of a half-dollar. And as simple as that, a perovskite solar cell is born.
No, really. Thats literally the first paragraph of a rather long article.
Take a look at the photo that heads this article and youll see that really is Secretary Perry applying some artistry to a perovskite solar cell last summer.
What Is It Made Of
Solar paint is made from tiny semiconductors suspended in a solvent. These semiconductors convert sunlight to electricity and can be produced from a variety of organic and inorganic materials.
At the present moment, semiconductors in the form of photovoltaic quantum dots, molybdenum disulfide, and perovskite minerals are used to manufacture the paint.
For researchers at the U.S. Department of Energys National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the University of Toronto, photovoltaic quantum dots made from lead sulfide are the semiconductor of choice. Theyre said to be cheaper to manufacture than other nanoscale semiconductors and more efficient than silicon-based solar cells.
Photovoltaic quantum dots allow researchers to modify separate batches of solar paint to meet local light and weather conditions. The size of the quantum dots can be made larger or smaller to increase the amount of light they can absorb.
The dots are mixed together with gold nanoshells before being immersed in a solvent to increase their efficiency, which currently stands at about 12.9 percent. With more research, scientists predict that quantum dot solar paint could become 11 percent more efficient than traditional solar panels.
They can be combined with materials such as crystalline silicon to create solar paint that captures energy well in low-light conditions.
Don’t Miss: Can An Air Conditioner Run Off Solar Power
These Cheap Invisible Solar Cells Can Be Spray
Most solar panels, made of expensive electronics encased in glass, are awkward to use anywhere other than a rooftop or solar farm. But in the near future, spray-on solar cells will be able to turn almost anythingfrom cars, to patio furniture, to airplane wingsinto mini power plants.
Researchers at the University of Toronto have figured out how to make the process both cheap and fast. Light-sensitive dots, so tiny theyre invisible to the eye, can be sprayed onto a flexible film and then wrapped on anything with access to sunlight.
We start with something like an ink, so it can be deposited using really cheap manufacturing methods, as opposed to traditional solar panels, which are made using the microelectronics industry model, says Illan Kramer, a post-doctoral fellow who works for a lab at the University of Toronto through a partnership with IBM.
The advantage here is that if you want to start coating giant areaslike the kinds of areas youd be interested in coating if you really want to solve the worlds energy problemsyou have to be thinking about coating square kilometers worth of space, not just 12 inches at a time, he says.
The project isnt the first to experiment with spray-on solar power, but it uses a process thats cheaper. In the past, surfaces were coated using slow, labor-intensive assembly lines. Now, the researchers use a method that prints directly onto a film, similar to the way ink prints onto newspapers.
Make Home Solar Energy Power Systems Diy
Also, solar paint may become so widespread and easy to use that installing a solar paint home energy system could be done by homeowners themselves.
Instead of buying bulky panels that require specialized expertise to install, homeowners may be able to apply the paint on their roofs or walls themselves. It could be as simple as spraying a metallic contact layer onto the roof or wall, waiting for it to dry, and then applying the paint. Scientists at NREL predict that a solar paint-based home power system may be able to last up to 15 years.
You May Like: Who Is The Best Solar Company In California
Does Solar Paint Exist
This product is built on top of three different technologies: its not really a single item. Using the power of solar energy, solar paint hydrogen is able to absorb moisture from the air and convert it into hydrogen peroxide and oxygen using the solar energy. A clean energy source is made from the hydrogen obtained through that process.
What Is The Solar Paint
Batteries made up of solar paint perform the same tasks as batteries made up of photovoltaic cells except that they collect the energy from sunlight, then power the battery on a battery-operated basis. Depending on how deep the solar panels are into the earth, they can convert around 18% of the sunlight they receive into usable energy.
Recommended Reading: How Much Does One Solar Panel Cost
Why Is Solar Paint A Game Changer
First, as mentioned it is cheaper to produce than silicon solar panels. This means that, in the future, solar will be attainable to a broader audience due to the lower cost.
Solar paint can also be applied to surfaces of almost any shape or size, and to numerous surface types including plastic, fabrics, and even car bodies.
Unlike traditional solar panels, its extremely easy to scale solar paint using the same spray gun, you can just spray a smaller or larger area. In contrast, to make a larger solar installation with traditional solar panels, you need more bracing, wires, panels, etc requiring more time and finances to plan and install.
Thirdly, its easier to install than traditional panels and requires little specialized knowledge. If you can work a spray gun, you could probably spray solar paint.
Youd still need an electrician to make all the final connections, but homeowners could save quite a bit on labor costs by performing the grunt-work themselves!
Why Is Solar Paint Good
In a video, Glossier Solar Paint has been demonstrated that it is able to conceal the suns skin to make it appear as though it has been kissed by it. According to the makers of the item, its able to condition the skin while balancing the air of your fingers. In addition to being buildable and flattering on the skin, Solar Paint promises to add durability.
Recommended Reading: How To Put Solar Panels On Rv
We Mean Business When It Comes To Climate Change
We have committed to closing our single coal-fired power station, Eraring in NSW, at the end of its life in the 2030s and are accelerating our investment in renewables. Origin was the worlds first energy company to sign up to seven initiatives of the We Mean Business coalition, a worldwide group of NGOs, signatory companies and institutional investors committed to limiting climate change impacts to 2oC. Read more about it here.
Great White High Solids 100% Silicone Roof Coating
The solar reflective roof paint is made from a silicon base that is strong against UV rays.
It can be used for a variety of roofing and once applied its capable of reflecting the maximum of UV and infra-red rays.
This heat reflective paint protects your house for a long time.
If youre someone who does care about your environment then you rest at ease about the efficiency of this product!
Capable of reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases, which often do come from buildings that use air conditioners heavily.
A few more positive traits are that its good to protect your home from rust, its durable and one of the most important traits is that its also anti-bacterial
Furthermore, we must emphasize the products durability and the fact its resistant to impact.
Because of the durability, the paint will not chip or flake easily and you can be assured that it will remain in top condition for quite some time.
Another bonus fact is that this coating is capable to prevent any sort of leaks that might happen with any other lower quality coating.
Finally, it does not use any toxic elements and its completely safe to use so it wont be necessary to use any sort of breathing apparatus or mask while applying the paint.
Pros & Benefits:
Trust Solar Paints Sure Can
Honouring our commitment to keep readers informed of the pointy end of current solar research, this weeks column brings you the latest breakthrough on..solar paint.
Yes thats right. Solar paint.
The incredible advance has been made possible by researchers at the U.S. University of Notre Dame who announced the feat in a December 21 press release which described a future when a lick of paint on your house will be able to generate electricity from the sun. However it may be a while before you can nip down to your local hardware store and pick up a few tins of solar paint to give the house a face lift. The Notre Dame release describes the work done on the project as a major advance which in academic terms could mean anything from a first draft to a blueprint.
Still. in a sign that the skilled use of the pun is alive and well in the halls of American academia, the research team has labelled the paint Sun-Believable which indicates to your columnist that the marketing for the breakthrough product is being run by the teams grandads. If so I cant wait for the ads
But back to the solar paint. How does it actually work?
Describing the process as transformative lead researcher Prof. Prashant V. Kamat said the team started the project with an aim to move beyond current silicon-based solar technology.
He said he and his team will now go on to study the stability of the paint.
Shining A Light On Eco
Nearly 70 years after the first solar panel was developed at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, scientists are creating a new solar energy product the original innovators might not have thought possible: solar paint.
Solar paint produces an electrical charge using the suns energy, just like conventional panels do. Made from suspended in a solvent, it can be applied to metal surfaces, such as roofing tiles, or printed as a thin film.
Although the technology is still under development, scientists are already considering it to be a lighter, easier to transport, and potentially cheaper alternative to solar panels. Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory believe it can be mass-produced and sold in paint cans at hardware stores nationwide, allowing homeowners to install the solar-energy system themselves.
Solar paint is a step up from solar panels, which are still relatively expensive for the average American homeowner and often require technical expertise to install, despite having dropped by 89% in price since 2010.
In this article, we explore what solar paint is, and the benefits that it could bring to you.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Solar Energy Without Solar Panels
The Future Of Solar Paint
A man painting a wall or solar installer of the future? Image source: NBC news
Here are 3 ways in which solar paint could be used in the future:
- Add solar paint to existing solar setups. Solar paint may work as a great way to enhance existing solar setups. People with solar panels installed could create an additional energy source by painting their roofs and walls with solar paint.
- Solar painted vehicles. With some tweaks, solar paint could be a great way to add solar-generating capacity to vehicles.
- A standalone power-generating solar setup. With increased efficiency levels and cheaper production costs, high-quality solar paint could one day start working as a primary source of power generation for homes and businesses.
How Solar Paint Works
Solar paint uses perovskite, a promising crystalline mineral compound that can harvest light. Cheap to produce and as efficient as silicon cells in capturing the sun’s energy, perovskite solar cells are the leading technology to replace or compete against crystalline silicon solar cells. One current drawback is their lack of longevity compared to silicon-based PVthe subject of much active research.
Perovskite solar paint can be more easily integrated into building surfaces , window glass , rooftops, vehicles, or indeed practically any type of surface. Incorporating a layer of transparent coating material on top of the solar paint can also produce electrical conductivity 10 times greater than solar paint alone.
Other forms of solar paint include an innovative technology that absorbs water vapor and splits it to generate hydrogen, which can allow buildings to produce their own heating fuel quantum dots, which use nanocrystals and quantum mechanics to enhance regular solar cells’ ability to produce an electric current by up to 20% and silicone-based paints used in concentrated solar power plants to increase the absorption of solar energy.
Read Also: How To Open A Solar Panel Business
Quantum Dot Solar Cells Aka Photovoltaic Paint
Scientists that have helped NREL set a new efficiency record of 13.4% for a quantum dot solar cell. Image source: nrel.gov
Quantum dots, also known as photovoltaic paint, were developed at the University of Toronto. They are nanoscale semiconductors that can capture light and turn it into an electric current.
Colloidal quantum dot photovoltaics – to use the full technical term – are not only cheaper to manufacture, but are also significantly more efficient than traditional solar cells.
According to research paper author Susanna Thon, There are two advantages to colloidal quantum dots. First, theyre much cheaper, so they reduce the cost of electricity generation measured in cost per watt of power. But the main advantage is that by simply changing the size of the quantum dot, you can change its light-absorption spectrum.
These dots could end up being up to 11% more efficient than traditional solar panels. In theory, at some point in the future, we would have the ability to paint these quantum dots on our roofs and other surfaces in order to transform sunlight into electricity.
Perovskite Solar Cells Vs Nuclear Energy
The Energy Departments latest pitch for perovskite solar cells came out just yesterday, in the form of a long article on the website of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
The timing and placement is interesting in terms of publicity. Thats because earlier this week the Energy Departments main page featured a shout-out of support for the notoriously expensive Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia.
Come to think of it, that Vogtle thing wasnt much of a shoutout. Though issued in the form of a press release, it was just a one-paragraph statement attributed to a press officer, which seems to indicate that Energy Secretary Rick Perry and other higher-ups at the agency arent going out on a limb for this one. Heres the whole thing:
The Department of Energy is pleased with todays vote to proceed with the construction of Vogtle 3& 4. This historic project will be the first large scale nuclear utility project completed in the United States in over 30 years and will reaffirm Americas international leadership in nuclear technology and provide a reliable, clean power source for decades to come. DOE hopes the successful completion of this project will mark the beginning of a nuclear renaissance in America.N
In 2008, estimates put the cost of the Vogtle project at $10.4 billion. By 2017, the estimate had ballooned to $15.7 billion. The latest revision suggests the cost is now about $18 billion, which S& P estimates to be $27 billion to $28 billion including financing costs.
Also Check: Where Can I Buy Sol Beer