“The paint will be based on dye-sensitised solar cells. Instead of absorbing sunlight using silicon like conventional solar panels, they use dye molecules attached to particles of the titanium dioxide pigment used in paints.
That gives an energy boost to electrons, which hop from the dye into a layer of electrolyte. This then transfers the extra energy into a collecting circuit, before the electrons cycle back to the dye.
While less efficient than conventional cells, dye-based cells do not require expensive silicon, and can be applied as a liquid paste.”
This is not the first time I’ve heard this announced, but it promises to be such a big idea that I applaud anyone who’s making progress toward a solution. Nanosolar, mentioned in the article, indeed does have a method of printing their cells directly onto metal surfaces, which also promises to revolutionize the manufacturing industry. It’s only a matter of time. Which, unfortunately, we have less of these days. But with big investors like Google behind such solar startups, at least we know that someone’s on it.