Eco Friendly Solar Cells to be Painted onto Steel Cladding for Buildings

Dr Dave Worsley, a Reader in the Materials Research Centre at the University’s School of Engineering, is investigating ways of painting solar cells onto the flexible steel surfaces commonly used for cladding buildings.

“We have been collaborating with the steel industry for decades,” explains Dr Worsely, “but have tended to focus our attention on improving the long-term durability and corrosion-resistance of the steel. We haven’t really paid much attention to how we can make the outside of the steel capable of doing something other than looking good.

“One of our Engineering Doctorate students was researching how sunlight interacts with paint and degrades it, which led to us developing a new photovoltaic method of capturing solar energy.”

The materials being developed at Swansea are more efficient at capturing low light radiation, meaning that they are better suited to the British climate.

A research grant from the Welsh Assembly Government’s Welsh Energy Research Centre (WERC) enabled Dr Worsley to work with leading metals group Corus to investigate the feasibility of developing an efficient solar cell system that can be applied to steel building products.

The success of the study led to the award of a three-year project worth over £1.5 million by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Paint is applied to steel when it is passed through rollers during the manufacturing process, and it is hoped that the same approach can be used to build up layers of the solar cell system. The researchers’ aim is to produce cells that can be painted onto a flexible steel surface at a rate of 30-40m2 a minute.

For more information on eco friendly solar cells, visit: http://www.azonano.com/news.asp?newsID=6026

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1 Response to “Eco Friendly Solar Cells to be Painted onto Steel Cladding for Buildings”


  1. 1 marc2718 October 21, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Great info on eco friendly information. Hopefully this catches on.


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