London-based startup SolarLayer claims to have developed a new additive for paints, coatings and flooring that transforms any surface into a solar energy receptor.
Through its application, any roof, wall, street or path becomes a photovoltaic generator, that works as a replacement or supplement to the traditional power grid. This technology is designed to work in 3 / 12V and is expected to lasts for more than 20 years, the company says.
SolarLayer was created by a group of scientists from the United Kingdom, Argentina and Switzerland who claim that the paint additive will revolutionize everything known in photovoltaics. The product already has been tested for durability and performance in different parts of the world.
This will finally allow the consumer market to use solar energy energy, without changing the existing aesthetics of homes and roads, the scientists say.
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The product could be used for such things as street lighting, electrification of SOS posts, parking lighting, public offices and homes. The system also could be used as a replacement or support to the electric grid. It also could be of major help for refugee camps, where tents can be sprayed with SolarLayer paint to generate electricity.
The founders have high hopes that, in the next five years, every paint in the world will be mixed with SolarLayer. They estimate that, if this technology were to be used everywhere, the world would generate enough solar electricity to eliminate the use of non-renewable sources in the next 25 years.
In order to bring SolarLayer from the lab to the market, the scientists have launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund the second stage of research and development. The scientists hope to raise $100,000 in 60 days.
SolarLayer is the latest in a slew of solar devices aimed at taking an alternative approach to alternative energy. A pair of designers, for example, have developed a new portable outlet that absorbs solar energy and converts it to electricity for everyday use. This can be attached to a window or wall that gets a lot of sunlight and, after eight hours of charging, holds up to 10 hours of electricity. Similarly, scientists at Michigan State University have created a translucent solar cell that can generate solar electricity through windows, rather than panels on a roof.