It’s taken five years to come to fruition, but the magic of solar paint is finally something every building owner can benefit from. Why pay for costly 3D printed solar panels and film, when you can just slap it on like paint – literally.
Discovered back in 2017, solar paint is a special mixture of synthetic molecules and titanium oxide, which has been used in paint for decades. It turns out the oxide helps the paint absorb the sun’s energy, while the molybdenum molecules act as a catalyst, splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen.
Where does the water come from? From the atmosphere of course! Water vapour naturally present in the air is attracted to the paint, where it is automatically split into oxygen and hydrogen, as long as the sun is shining; no electricity required.
Hydrogen is the cleanest of all fuels, creating only water vapour when it’s burned. It can also be used directly in fuel cells, or stored for later use. The promise of a ‘hydrogen economy’ might finally be affordable.
Solar paint is the ideal complementary technology to traditional solar power, which only produces electricity when the sun is shining, and needs expensive battery systems. The hydrogen generated by solar paint in the day, can be used to power turbines and fuel cells at night, reducing the need for storage solutions.
In fact, collecting the hydrogen was the final challenge that’s now been conquered. Another layer of ‘paint’ contains special nanotubes, channeling the hydrogen to the top of the building, where it’s safely stored as a hydrate.
Paint your building – and join the solar revolution!