Solar painting, the future of energy?
Solar painting could well succeed solar panels in the coming years. This is the discovery made by several researchers from the prestigious RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology), in Australia. Their research shows that this paint could generate clean energy that can be easily stored.
What is solar paint?
A recent report published on the RMIT website presents a groundbreaking discovery. It is a paint created from a compound intended to absorb moisture (similar to silica gel). This material called synthetic molybdenum sulfide also has another advantage, that of being a semiconductor. It is therefore able to catalyze decomposing water molecules to make oxygen and hydrogen. To this mixture is added a white pigment: titanium dioxide. Used in the dental and confectionery industry, it attracts light directly to the paint, which can release enough energy for the synthetic molybdenum sulfide to act directly on the water drops. The result: paint draws hydrogen through the combined action of its two main components, and therefore produces fuel.
How to use solar paint?
This invention could be used in addition to an installation of conventional solar panels, in particular in places which are less exposed to light. Likewise, the whole advantage of this invention is that the water does not need to be of a certain quality for the system to work. It suffices that it is captured, as water vapor in the air, in all possible geographical contexts. As for the actual hydrogen harvested, as clean energy it could be used in a combustion engine or in a battery.
When will consumers be able to use it?
According to the researchers behind this discovery, developing the final product still requires a few years of research, probably at least five years. The goal is in particular to create a painting accessible to all. It can thus be applied on many supports, including luminaires and vehicles. Its white color has the advantage of being usable in many contexts. The possible yield also remains to be defined, which will determine the final potential for clean energy production.