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Solar-Powered Paint Could Produce 4,500 GW-Hrs a Year!

Solar Paint for SteelSwansea University has been working with steel companies for years. These companies produce those marvelously beautiful sheets of steel that cover buildings all over the world. But, while working on ways to make the steel not degrade in sunlight, a Swansea student figured out how to make the paint actually harness that energy and how to get viagra from canada covert it to electricity.

The University has announced that with the levitra roma 100 million square feet of steel that they produce could add 4,500 gigawatts to the grid annually. To that, I say " seem to have made a typo," because I'm pretty sure they mean 4,500 gigawatt-hours.

But that is still an enormous number. 4,500 gigawatts is about a third of the generating capacity of the entire I think it's safe to assume that every single publication (and there are lots) running this story has overlooked a pretty glaring typo.

The steel would be "painted' with the solar cells in the factory, hopefully at a rate no slower than current paints are applied. The research has spawned a $3M grant and has been expanded to include several universities including Bangor University, University of Bath, and the Imperial College London.

The technology remains lab-bound for now. But the scientists working on the project hope to have 5% efficient solar steel paint in the relatively near future. But two questions remain...will it be worth redesigning the online viagra experment electricity grid to accept and pay for power from such small providers? And will the added cost of the solar "panels" and a DC to AC inverter prohibit the technology.

See the original press release (complete with glaring typo) at Swansea University

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Comments (47)Add Comment
speaking of cheap viagra without prescription typos...
written by Theo, March 12, 2008
a gigawatt-hour is a unit of energy, a gigawatt/hour is.. a typo?
written by bigelectricmetalbassface, March 13, 2008
Could handling this in daylight cause an electric shock, like when touching electrodes on a solar panel?
written by millerm277, March 13, 2008
Interesting, even 5% efficiency would be great if it doesn't cost significantly more than standard paint. Sure, it might not be worth the equipment for small things, but something like a large bridge would generate a lot of electricity.
Showing my ignorance
written by net97surferx, March 13, 2008
I know we use AC for power transmission since it 'works better' over long distances. Most of our electronics use transformers to convert the 'household' 120V AC down to 5-12V DC. Some items like stoves and washer / dryers still use higher 240V AC.

I understand power companies want to make 'solar and wind farms' so they can generate all the power 'like a coal fired or nuclear plant' and pump the order levitra now power along existing wires. That's how they get their 'cut'.

But, if folks are doing individual solar and wind... even if they have 'solar steel siding' on their homes, why can't they just run a DC household? You would then not lose the conversion percentages.

I figure a smart company would hook up a house with a contract that let's the consumer pay out monthyly.... just like a standard power bill... BUT, the payments would cover initial installation and upkeep... which should be minimal.

Am I missing some basic 'capitalist' stuff here that makes this not work?

4.5 gigawatts!
written by back from the future, March 13, 2008
with 4.5 gigawatts of electricity and a flux capacitor, I could get a DeLorean moved from the 50's to the 80's!
written by Buck, March 13, 2008
I wonder if this concept could be applied to siding on houses? That would be *very* cool. I'm all for alternative power sources but I can't imagine doing anything that will take 20 years to break even.
written by Deathridesahorse, March 13, 2008
Showing my ignorance
written by net97surferx, March 12, 2008

I know we use AC for power transmission since it 'works better' over long distances. Most of our electronics use transformers to convert the 'household' 120V AC down to 5-12V DC. Some items like stoves and washer / dryers still use higher 240V AC.

I understand power companies want to make 'solar and wind farms' so they can generate all the power 'like a coal fired or nuclear plant' and pump the power along existing wires. That's how they get their 'cut'.

But, if folks are doing individual solar and wind... even if they have 'solar steel siding' on their homes, why can't they just run a DC household? You would then not lose the conversion percentages.

I figure a smart company would hook up a house with a contract that let's the consumer pay out monthyly.... just like a standard power bill... BUT, the payments would cover initial installation and upkeep... which should be minimal.

Am I missing some basic 'capitalist' stuff here that makes this not work?

>>Yes, the dark side!
re: showing my ignorance
written by Theo, March 13, 2008
I think the basic capitalist thing you're missing is the status quo.. Like you said, most of our appliances run off of DC at the front end, but because of our current system they're all set up to use AC (either built in transformers or alternative designs). So to run your house on DC you'd need to replace almost everything you own.

There are people who live in the wilderness and cheap 25mg cialis run their houses DC, but most of them still need an inverter if they want their washing machine and refrigerator to run. A family I know for instance, has a solar/hydro/part time generator set-up, and all their lighting is DC, but there's some stuff you just can't buy with DC compatibility.
written by Marcel, March 13, 2008
Why no DC? DC is very intersting indeed but it has a slight problem.........due it's nature, it is very difficult to deal with short-circuits and especially sudden disruptions of connections.
written by Bob Wallace, March 13, 2008
Long distance electrical shipping is currently DC.

Google "HVDC" - High Voltage Direct Current.

Inversion from DC to AC is neither expensive nor extensively energy wasting. We can generate electricity via solar in DC and invert it for the local grid to AC much less expensively than to replace our vast investment in AC appliances and gadgets.

BTW, I live 'off the it's cool buy levitra online canada grid' using PV panels as my main source of electricity. Many of my friends around here do as well. None of us run DC houses, we all convert to AC.

There was a time when people largely ran DC when they produced their own power as inverters were expensive and inefficient. Those days are behind us.

If I could clad the south facing portion of my roof with 'solar steel' with a 5% efficiency output I would have more electricity than I could use. I'd probably have enough to use an electric water heater and/or electric range, rather than propane. I could probably power a "Tesla" and cease buying gas.
written by Domenick, March 14, 2008
Gigawatt-hours. Got it. Thank you.
written by Jeff Wrigles, March 14, 2008
Bob Wallace:

1. Converting DC to AC is expensive.
2. Long distance lines are all AC. The lines are high voltage to reduce loses and it's hard to convert high voltage DC to low voltage.
written by Jeff Wrigles, March 14, 2008
*** hard to convert without large losses
cheap gridded roofing for developing nat
written by Mutcluck, March 14, 2008
Would there be a way to have a cheap roofing material with a electrical grid (that would remain functional even when damaged) to be painted over... to have a simple battery to store energy and a single plug coming from it. It might be a great cheap alternative for power in developing nations and in huts etc. Having a light/rather than candles would really allow people in developing nations to make use of their night-time hours for education etc. What do people think, is it possible at a price-point for extremely poor peopl? The equivalent of usefull link cheap fast cialis what they spend on candles in a year?
Boon for Poor countries and where to get levitra even for com
written by ArunD, March 14, 2008
Considering that most of the electronic stuff like chargers; dvd players; phones; computers etc work on DC - AC to DC conversion is very common at the least - and DC to AC ain't that costly either. For instance, power inverters are pretty common in India - due to power shortages - people often keep power inverters connected to batteries.

During "normal" hours inverter charges the batteries from AC current and during power cuts - battery discharges and inverter converts current back to AC and - being no electrical engineer myself; no idea how it works - but the power is back up again.

In a typical home, it drives telly, computer, 2 or 3 fans and similar number of light bulbs for about two or three hours.

Definitely loads of energy wastage during conversoin both ways but given the frequency of power cuts in parts of India - it is unavoidable.

So definitely - if this technology works - it is definitely going to be very popular in developing and and poor nations.

Costs benefits could be enormous - who says power generated has to be fed back to Grid - buildings could just use the power for themselves and power smaller building around - Saves so much costs of transporting fossil fuels to power stations; burning them all up; laying the power cabling; building all kinds of metering solutions; cutting loads of trees to generate bills - I see there is a lot of capitialist economy around electricity generation and distribution - but poor countries do not have that infrastructure nor the how to get levitra capability to build it.

This kind of just try! levitra 6 free samples technology would be boon for them - all electrical appliances will work with no adaptations - just attach a inverter to solar panels output. No house hold cabling is required.

Not only for poor countries; even for general American public this could be boon - but of course American captialist companies will most likely kill this technology. No offense to American people - but company boards have responsibilities to share holders and best prices on cialis in share holders interest (large ones esp) the companies will kill this technology even if it were to be true and possible. With so much international diplomacy around Oil, carbon credit industry, nuclear industry - if this were to happen and succeed, our politicians will be out of jobs !!!
written by David Orazine, March 14, 2008
Running all DC lines would cause power cables to be ridiculously thick, with a 5 feet plus radius based on amperage and distance.

An electrician could explain it better. ;D
written by Dave, March 14, 2008
Am I reading this wrong or does it say 4500 gigawatts per YEAR. That would only require about 0.5 gigawatts produced per hour (or 0.5 gigawatt-hours per hour). If you spread that out to the 100 million square feet of steel they intend to protect with this stuff, that's only 5 watts per square foot every hour of the day, or 1 watt per hour per square foot assuming 12 good hours of sunlight on average. This doesn't seem like such a huge amount if you look at it that way.
My Math=?
written by Dave, March 14, 2008
the above should say:

or 10 watt per hour per square foot assuming 12 good hours of sunlight
written by Sustainable Building, March 14, 2008
You're correct to point out that the real challenge here is going to be conversion and transmission to the grid. Not to diminish the team's work, but the biggest challenges to commercial application of this or any product like this are certainly still ahead of them.
written by Aaron Tynes Hammack, March 14, 2008
The best case average irradiant solar power that would be incident on the area of cialis cheap canadian pharmacy steel in the article (solar radiation is ~1,000 W / square m):

100,000,000 square ft * 1 square m / 10 square ft = 10,000,000 square m
10,000,000 square m * 1,000 W / square m = 10,000,000,000 W = 10 GW

With 5% efficiency this yields
0.05 * 10 GW = 0.5 GW of solar power from 100,000,000 square ft of painted steel.

Therefore, by rough calculations, they can add ~0.5 GW of **capacity** to the world electrical grid each year.

So it is not a typo, units of GW are the appropriate units in which to measure electrical production capacity. And even by rough estimation (without their specific production numbers and efficiencies) they can add ~0.5 GW of capacity per year.
written by Aaron, March 14, 2008
Read the 4,500 GW as 4.500 GW

They're definitely off by a few orders of magnitude
WTF? There's no typo
written by Mark Kahn, March 14, 2008
The articles state "4500 gigawatts per year". This is EXACTLY what they mean, they don't mean 4500 gigawatt-hours they mean 4500 other words, from google's nifty calculator feature:

((4 500 (gigawatt hours)) / 365) / 24 = 513.69863 megawatt hours
written by stevey, March 14, 2008
On the subject of running houses off dc, there are lots of devices in our homes today that will happily accept dc. Computer monitors, computers, tvs. Anything with a switch mode powersupply. Brushed motors will accept dc as well. So your vacumm cleaner will work off dc. One note though, some computer powersupplies have a 120v/240v switch. These will often not work on 120v dc due to the fact that they generate 240v inside by voltage doubleing (which will not work on dc)
written by Steve, March 14, 2008
Speaking of ACDC, what about TNT? It's Dynomite!
written by Chuck, March 14, 2008
Mr. Wallace, I think you should check your facts again. Don't you remember why Edison fired Tesla? Edison didn't want no stink'n AC voltage in his lines. Tesla was just one of many inventors that Edison ripped off and took credit for.
scribbling on the back of cialis blood thinner an envelope...
written by Tom Ritchford, March 15, 2008
The numbers are quite plausible ONLY because of the incredibly large area that is painted and only today best online generic cialis exposed to the sun.

The "minor" issue that's glossed over is simply the cost of repainting these billions of square meters of paint.

(If this worked, the issue of putting the power back into the cialis canada online pharmacy grid is in fact a non-issue; the electrical grid is built more-or-less to be "reversible", in fact your old mechanical-style meter will actually run backwards if you pump power back into the grid!
Commas are often used as decimal points
written by TRGX, March 15, 2008
They seemed to have meant 4500 Megawatts or 4 1/2 Gigawatts PEAK.

From a related article:
"Worsley pointed out that if 100 million square metres ...with only a five percent conversion rate"
You could get 45 watts per square meter, which would translate to 4500 Megawatts (4 1/2 Gigawatts)
written by Bob Wallace, March 15, 2008
Jeff Wrigles

Whether converting DC to AC is expensive is relative to the benefits gained by doing so.

At this very moment I am converting DC from my solar panels/batteries to AC to run my refer, radio, and computer. I find using an inverter much less expensive than buying DC products. Especially the refer.

As for "Long distance lines are all AC", that is blatantly incorrect.

Since you didn't bother to search prior to declaring...

"High voltage direct current (HVDC) is used to transmit large amounts of power over long distances or for interconnections between asynchronous grids...."

And here's a bit on one specific HVDC grid...
your website's got issues
written by alpha754293, March 16, 2008
your website's got issues
Math is right
written by alpha754293, March 16, 2008
I agree with Aaron Hammtrack. The math is right. 10 W per sq. ft. probably isn't within the realm of reasonable expectation.

You figure that the little tiny solar cell on a pocket calculator generates 3 VDC nominal, and I'd presume at least as much power as two LR44 batteries (based on the Sharp scientific that I used to have, 1.5 VDC nominal @ 150 mAh x2) would stil be 0.45 W. Mind you, they're not the best for area power density, but 10W per sq. ft. wouldn't be out of the question.

4500 GW p.a. is plausible. So what's wrong with the article?
written by Bob Wallace, March 16, 2008
Quick and dirty math "suggests" that my PV panels are producing about 9.5 watts per square foot. And I think they are around 12% efficient. Based on that I'd think the 5% efficient solar steel to be more in the range of 4 watts per square foot.

It's not too likely that this material would be worth installing on walls as the solar angle would be far off the efficient range. Looks like something for roofs.

Were the south facing portion of my roof clad with 5% steel I would be kicking out 3.5kW during the sweet time of tramadol legality the day. I'm currently doing fine with 1.2kW of PV panels.

Steel roofing is more expensive than composition roofs, but much longer lasting. If the coating is comparable to currently baked on paint then one would be looking at decades of output.

"But two questions remain...will it be worth redesigning the electricity grid to accept and pay for power from such small providers? And will the added cost of the solar "panels" and a DC to AC inverter prohibit the technology."

The 'grid' is already 'redesigned'. People are installing PV/wind and doing grid interties. Just takes an inverter and bi-directional (net metering) meter. A quick search says that grid intertie inverters are around $2.5k. That isn't a huge amount of money and the cost would clearly drop were production/competition increased.

written by Phil Williams, March 19, 2008
Solar Power n Wind Power n Wave Power

Glad to see Solar Panels Being discussed. All things Solar should have been out there already.

Sand to Silocon to Solar Cells to Solar Reactive Paint -- the further we go down this road, the better it gets. If all things was solar we would not need any Oil.

Double up the online generic cialis crap shoot with Wind Turbines where the wind is always blowing.

Triple up the scenario with Wave Tunnel Turbines that generates electricity on water rushing in and rushing back out and you really don't need Oil any more. Ever see a Blow Hole in Action. Now that is Raw Power -- and Power we can put to use if we imitate the Tunnel Mechanics of the Blow Hole and add Turbines.

Phil the Lieu
But how much would it cost
written by tom e, March 19, 2008
As a technological solution it really does sound expensive... would they have to replace all the wire in the national grid? Nah, can't see them doing that for decades.
Average Jane
written by R@e, March 19, 2008
Whatever the actual numbers turn out to be,expected the same sort of spin Edison perpetrated on Tesla- BS that promotes only one viewpoint, obfuscates the facts and leaves the canadian levitra 50mg little guy scratching his head trying to figure out the truth.
Green energy is the way to go.
written by Green Guy, March 25, 2008
As have many people have said in earlier posts, the cost of keeping things status quo is way too high - the death of planet Earth - We have no choice but to make the right decisions for every facet of our lives, green energy, true organic food, sustainable living and transportation. This green paint might work if it proves to be no more toxic then the paint we currently use. And we need to have real not fudged up real-world numbers of buying viagra in new york what it can do. Certainly if it is not anymore toxic then conventional paint isnt it worth paying more especially if it does knock down our dirty-power usage?
written by Dudley, April 03, 2008
If this paint were tough enough wouldn't it be cool to use it to pain parking lots. Think of how much power that could generate.
written by bobby, May 24, 2008
i assume that in the summer you might put ENERGY IN THE GRID. BUT IN THE WINTER not make enough energy to run the house so all of the energy you put in will start on its way back to your house turnig the meter back up to 0. while your turning up the meter you wont be charged untill your back to where you started from before you started puting energy in to the grid.
written by bob man, May 25, 2008
can you con vert the 100 million square feet of steel that they produce could add 4,500 gigawatts to the grid annually. to a meater squared for me please for school progect by the end of the week
Impatiently waiting and a cynical commen
written by John, June 23, 2008
I'd love for this paint to prove economically viable but as written above, am concerned that if it is viable, vested interests will see that it is never marketed. It's possible the propecia 5mg paint developers will see the economic advantages of marketing the paint vs. selling the rights to GE/etc.
Now for a little old fashioned whining. When I look at the costs of green alternative building materials, I frequently feel consumers are being asked to pay a "fashion follower/technogeek" tax ala the first iPhone purchasers. I'm certainly in favor of profitability but hope that an increased number of suppliers along with increasing demand will lead to reduced prices. Consider that a lot of the green products are using post-consumer materials which should be available at significant discounts compared to newly derived materials. I do want to go green wherever possible but green producers have to at least be in the same ballpark as conventional producers if the whole green movement is to grow.
The Reason For AC and Not DC
written by Jeff, June 24, 2008
Going to DC would mean replacing just about everything. However, the real reason I would stay with AC is because I would be feeding the energy to the grid. Batteries are just another expense and maintenance issue.

By feeding the grid during the day, in the middle of the night when I'm still working, I may still be using an amount of energy I generated that day. I just have less headaches all-around.
Solar powered Electric vehicles
written by alan, December 09, 2008
Can anyone tell me why it wouldn't be possible to paint a Electric car with this paint so that it could charge batteries on the run?

If so then the car companies would surely want to invest in the cost of developing this tech as this has become a very competitive market lately and EV's are the future (as long as we have enough lithium for batteries)

Any comments?
written by Daniel Richards, June 17, 2009
gigawatt hours annually wouldn't make sense...gigawatts annually already has the generic viagra effective hours built it (the year part)...i don't think its a typo
Downsizing of America
written by Uncle B, September 05, 2009
America! We are Broke! goddammit, Broke! We will joyously receive any Solar, Wind, Wave, Tidal, Hydro, or Geo-thermal assistance in the very near future! We will humanure our garden plots by our shanties in Hoovervilles and tent cities through-out the nation and viagra 10 mg soon! if we don't wise up! Obama's Trillions are soon to be soaked up, and there is no replacement for them, China turned him down for Trillions in loans! We now have just a deflated dollar to contend with, and we are about to be downsized in life-styles! The OPEC folks will not likely extend credit for oil, and we have little in the way of manufactured items to offer in exchange for oil - China took that from us long ago! We will be glad to paint our barns and roofs and wire them to our transistor radios, if we can afford the goddamned radios! This is it, folks! The world insists we pay our bills! We have no oil of our own, and burn the world's oil like crazed drug addicts! We are stupid about Solar and Wind developments and scorn Wave and Tidal efforts as insufficient for our appetites while other countries modify lifestyles, appetites, to the available power, and carry on! Germany, Denmark, Sweden, all have altered lifestyles away from the "American Dream" model, to a much more frugal, reality based model of communally advantageous socialism, social democracies, and lower consumption and higher output per capita situations! We Americans will be forced by world circumstances to follow suit! We are no longer a resource-rich country! We are a break-even at best country! Yes! it is time to consider Solar adventures, and seriously, for our very survival! We have the greatest solar resources in the world in the South Western Deserts - going to waste! goddammit! And we import oil at a level that enslaves us to the O.P.E.C. nations! Remember: When the oil is gone, priced off the market, the corn it is used to produce is gone too! and the huge amount of corn-fed beef we eat daily is gone too! Priced off the market! Our daily diet, as well as our daily energy consumption are about to change dramatically because we cannot pay as much as Asians are willing to pay for the oil we use in the world today! Keep in mind, oil companies are corporations and are obliged by American law, our law of incorporation, to sell to the highest bidder on the shareholder's behalf, even if they are
Asians, and Americans go hungry for it! Buy Solar like it was going out of style, to save your very ass, Yankee Doodle! The world is playing by your rules and winning!
written by Dilip Patel, January 17, 2010
Can you Pls. provide me the specs & the wholesaler for this products. I need it for city in Europe & Asia.
Thank You .
4500 Gigawatts! I goota get my delorian painted with this!
written by Ocala Autobody, June 09, 2010
I can't wait for this product to come out. paying a power bill will soon be a thing of the past!
Too bad it has to be that ugly green
written by jojo, June 13, 2011
..just sayin'
written by Matthew Fine, January 22, 2014
wow actually speechless, would be truly amazing if this became the norm

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