Is this new solar dye technology the future of alternative energy?

Question by manda: Is this new solar dye technology the future of alternative energy?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7501476.stm

What do you think about this? Could we be seeing these solar dyes on all new buildings within 5 years? Would you be willing to put these panels on all the windows in your house? Could this technology make solar energy the most commonly used alternative energy source?

Best answer:

Answer by linlyons
seems there are a number of questions.
is it going to make the house dark inside so i have to have the lights on all the time?
how are the windows mounted?
what’s the wiring like and where is it?

so many questions.
so little information.
so far, i don’t think so.

What do you think? Answer below!

Category: Product Reviews

3 Responses to “Is this new solar dye technology the future of alternative energy?”

  1. Agua-Luna.com -I LIVE OFF GRID- Reply April 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Let me start off by saying we (my family and I) live completely, 100% “off of the grid and are completely self sufficient”

    The house is built utilizing natures natural elements, in the shape of an octagon with 8ft wide arch doors on every wall to catch every angle of wind (typical 4 sided homes have half the chance as one with 8 sides. A circle being the most efficient design). Woodburning stoves, solar chimney, solar AC, solar heating, solar water heating (pool and home), solar stove, solar power, wind power, hydrogen powered back up generator, hydrogen back up water heater, hydrogen stove, 2 hydrogen powered trucks, 1 EV (electric vehicle) and satellite internet.

    There are no utility lines, no water lines, no roads, tv, cell service, etc. on our ranch. EVERYTHING needed is produced here. All electricity comes from 27 solar panels, 2 main wind gens and a back hydrogen generator if needed (typically we can last 9 days with all luxuries of sunless windless weather, hasn’t happened yet). Water is caught and storaged from the rain. Hot water is made with solar batch water heaters with an on-demand hydrogen hot water heater as backup. Even our vehicles use alternative energy (2 hydrogen trucks, 1 EV electric vehicle converted). Because of this we have no bills, no debt and no mortgage.

    The fallowing steps were taking directly out of a DIY guide I offer to those who would like to run their homes on solar power safely, reducing their monthly utility bills or even selling power back the the electrical companies. The entire guide is available at www agua-luna com. Its pretty simple but if you have any problems feel free to contact me directly I can walk you threw the process.

    Materials you will need
    A sheet of copper flashing from the hardware store. This normally costs about $ 5.00 per square foot. We will need about half a square foot.
    Two alligator clip leads.
    A sensitive micro-ammeter that can read currents between 10 and 50 microamperes. Radio Shack sells small LCD multimeters that will do, but I used a small surplus meter with a needle.
    An electric stove. My kitchen stove is gas, so I bought a small one-burner electric hotplate for about $ 25. The little 700 watt burners probably won’t work — mine is 1100 watts, so the burner gets red hot.
    A large clear plastic bottle off of which you can cut the top. I used a 2 liter spring water bottle. A large mouth glass jar will also work.
    Table salt. We will want a couple tablespoons of salt.
    Tap water.
    Sand paper or a wire brush on an electric drill.
    Sheet metal shears for cutting the copper sheet.

    The first step is to cut a piece of the copper sheeting that is about the size of the burner on the stove. Wash your hands so they don’t have any grease or oil on them. Then wash the copper sheet with soap or cleanser to get any oil or grease off of it. Use the sandpaper or wire brush to thoroughly clean the copper sheeting, so that any sulphide or other light corrosion is removed.
    Next, place the cleaned and dried copper sheet on the burner and turn the burner to its highest setting.
    As the copper starts to heat up, you will see beautiful oxidation patterns begin to form. Oranges, purples, and reds will cover the copper.
    As the copper gets hotter, the colors are replaced with a black coating of cupric oxide. This is not the oxide we want, but it will flake off later, showing the reds, oranges, pinks, and purples of the cuprous oxide layer underneath.
    The last bits of color disappear as the burner starts to glow red.
    When the burner is glowing red-hot, the sheet of copper will be coated with a black cupric oxide coat. Let it cook for a half an hour, so the black coating will be thick. This is important, since a thick coating will flake off nicely, while a thin coat will stay stuck to the copper.
    After the half hour of cooking, turn off the burner. Leave the hot copper on the burner to cool slowly. If you cool it too quickly, the black oxide will stay stuck to the copper.
    As the copper cools, it shrinks. The black cupric oxide also shrinks. But they shrink at different rates, which makes the black cupric oxide flake off.
    The little black flakes pop off the copper with enough force to make them fly a few inches. This means a little more cleaning effort around the stove, but it is fun to watch.
    When the copper has cooled to room temperature (this takes about 20 minutes), most of the black oxide will be gone. A light scrubbing with your hands under running water will remove most of the small bits. Resist the temptation to remove all of the black spots by hard scrubbing or by flexing the soft copper. This might damage the delicate red cuprous oxide layer we need to make to solar cell work.
    Cut another sheet of copper about the same size as the first one. Bend both pieces gently, so they will fit into the plastic bottle or jar without touching one another. The cuprous oxide coating that was facing up on the burner is usually the best side to face outwards in the jar, because it has the smoothest, cleanest surface.
    Attach the two alligator clip leads, one to the new copper plate, and one to the cuprous oxide coated plate. Connect the lead from the clean copper plate to the positive terminal of the meter. Connect the lead from the cuprous oxide plate to the negative terminal of the meter.
    Now mix a couple tablespoons of salt into some hot tap water. Stir the saltwater until all the salt is dissolved. Then carefully pour the saltwater into the jar, being careful not to get the clip leads wet. The saltwater should not completely cover the plates — you should leave about an inch of plate above the water, so you can move the solar cell around without getting the clip leads wet.
    now place in the sun with the magnefied on top.
    The solar cell is a battery, even in the dark, and will usually show a few microamps of current.
    That’s it it’s that simple. If you’d a more detailed process and some pics (ouldn’t put them here) it’s available along with some other DIY alternative energy projects at www agua-luna com

    Hope this helped, feel free to contact me personally if you have any questions if you’d like assistance in making your first self sufficient steps, I’m willing to walk you step by step threw the process. I’ve written several how-to DIY guides available at www agua-luna com on the subject. I also offer online and on-site workshops, seminars and internships to help others help the environment.

    Dan Martin
    Alterative Energy / Sustainable Consultant, Living 100% on Alternative & Author of How One Simple Yet Incredibly Powerful Resource Is Transforming The Lives of Regular People From All Over The World… Instantly Elevating Their Income & Lowering Their Debt, While Saving The Environment by Using FREE ENERGY… All With Just One Click of A Mouse…For more info Visit:

    www AGUA-LUNA com
    Stop Global Warming!!!

  2. Hi Manda…

    Yeah, I saw this and my immediate reaction was “great” – a simple product, easy to get going (no huge infrastructure required) and commercial production available within a few years…
    The human eye doesn’t need anywhere near the full output of the sun to see so I see no problem in having only 10% filter through the windows.

    Not sure if it will make commercial sense at a household level so may not become that common but sticking them on all those glass skyscrapers – fan-bloody-tastic!

    Bit disappointed with the other two answers, though – linlyons is usually spot on but I found her response too negative; I think we need to be a little bit more optimistic that we can do something about GW even if it means now and then doing a few things that weren’t so good (as long as they don’t hurt!)

    Agua gave a lot of info – not really germane to your question though… couldn’t be bothered to read all of it as I figured he was selling something so I scrolled to the bottom and… yep; he’s selling something!
    So – does that make me as much of a cynic/pessimist as lyn?

  3. Looks pretty good to me!

    I am not sure whether or not we would use it on our windows, we have a lot of shade from trees and other buildings, but certainly on our roof, possibly in our garden too!

    At present, solar panels take decades to pay for themselves, so are (probably) not worth it at my age, but these would pay for themselves in a few years.

    …unless the Government decide to put some kind of tax on them!

    Is it the future? I don’t think it is the whole answer but I would be surprised if it wasn’t a big part of it!

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