Energy capture from coatings

  • Many large man-made structures are made with or clad in steel.  These include buildings, ships, factories, storage tanks, stadia, bridges and so on. AkzoNobel provides coatings for all of these surfaces
  • Incident solar energy in ideal conditions at the equator can be as much as 1kW/m2 – enough to boil a small kettle!  Even in non-ideal conditions there is much energy arriving at the surface.  It is free of cost and free of any adverse environmental impact
  • Conversion of solar energy to electricity via photovoltaic cells has developed during recent decades such that conversion efficiencies of more than 50% are possible.  There are several alternative technologies but all are sophisticated, multi-layered, factory manufactured and expensive.  Investment costs are high and pay back periods are measured in multiple years. Complex wiring to individual cells is required and hardware to convert the crude electricity to a useful or stored form is needed
  • Like others, we dare to imagine “spray on solar cells”; a paint composition or scheme of paint layers that can operate to capture solar energy
  • The availability of large surface areas and ease of (spray) application could mean that low conversion efficiency systems become viable
  • We are interested in technologies that could be incorporated into liquid coatings and applied to large structures to fabricate an energy capturing device
  • Efficiency need not be high (though desirable)
  • The mechanism does not necessarily have to be photovoltaic
  • The output does not necessarily have to be electricity
  • Devices that are a combination of coating and pre-formed laminate may be of interest

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