Solar Paint is 'Revolutionary'
June 17, 2017
Get an endless supply of energy simply by painting your house with new solar paint! It sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it? There’s some whitewashing going on here, but it’s not the fence out back.
'Solar paint offers endless energy from water vapour' is the actual title of the article on the RMIT Australia University website. From there, various news sources have taken it a bit further with title teasers such as; 'A New Solar Paint Lets You Transform Your Entire House Into a Source of Clean Energy', 'Revolutionary solar paint...', and 'We could soon be painting our houses with solar paint for clean energy'.
The breakthrough is real enough, it’s just been over-hyped, like many things these days. The technology is based around a new compound that can be mixed with paint. With sunlight, the mixture can absorb moisture (water) from the air, and split it into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen can then be used as fuel.
Now, I’m not an electrical engineer, but I see some depot-sized obstacles in the way, before I can get this stuff at the paint store.
First off, my home is not powered by hydrogen--I don’t know any house that is. Boom.
Speaking of explosions, let’s say I have a hydrogen fueled car that could make use of this magical paint. How does the hydrogen get from the paint on the side of my house, into a pressurized hydrogen storage tank? It doesn’t say anything about that in the video.
An article from Inverse suggests that a stretchable membrane could be used to wick the hydrogen from the paint. That sounds hard to do on a house, and you can check your mama’s yoga pants to get an estimate on what the cost would be to fit an entire home in spandex. Not cheap!
Further, I wonder about the environmental impact of an entire city sucking moisture out of the air. Won’t that make dry climates, even drier? Would it affect global weather or the water supply?
In the 12+ years I have been researching future technologies, I have read about many “renewable energy breakthroughs” that were going to “revolutionize the industry”. Yet, the struggle for power continues.
Paint that can split water is amazing enough on its own. Energy technology articles that are over-stated and sensationalized, take their toll on the overall confidence people have in renewable energies of all types.
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