In a solar energy breakthrough, the University of Notre Dame has made advancements in creating a “solar paint.” The product would transcend silicon-based solar producers in order to create an easily spread solar conductor that can be applied to any conductive surface. While the solar paint isn’t as efficient as silicon-based solar technology (the paint’s conversion efficiency is currently at 1% – roughly 10% behind silicon solar cells) it can be made inexpensively, and in large quantities, making it viable for the masses after more testing.
Rural schools in Zambia are getting a solar facelift. Affordable solar panels are being installed in several schools in the area that will not only help children lengthen the hours they can study by increasing available electricity, but will also teach children about science and energy hands-on. Developed by the Chemistry Aid project, solar panels, batteries, and inverters are being used in many developing, rural schools in order to bring computers and other multimedia devices to classrooms where electricity is often hard to come by.
Fools gold, or pyrite has once been thought of as a pointless substance meant to trick people into thinking they purchased real gold. Quite the contrary these days, as pyrite has recently been discovered to hold properties conducive to producing solar energy. Researchers at Oregon State University are discovering pyrite’s enormous potential for solar energy absorption, and more recently how to manipulate the compound to convert energy more efficiently than its silicon counterpart.