KUSA- Instead of grabbing an extension cord, grab a paint brush. Scientists in the UK are working on creating paints that can be printed onto building materials allowing them to generate electricity.
The project is still in the pilot stage, but where it has been used, they have been able to save up to 50 percent on energy bills.
All of the production is being done at one plant in Wales. They are use screen presses and roller coating techniques to cover building materials with the special paints that are able to conduct electricity.
"In its simplest form, we can use carbon graphite, so the sort of thing you get in a pencil, because you can get a pencil to conduct electricity, but we might be putting other things such as silvers. We can make an ink which is silver and when we dry it it's conductive. We can also make materials where we use a material not too dissimilar to something that's in white paint. And we can get that to actually absorb light and by playing with the chemistry enable it to generate electricity from that light, or to be used as a purification system for that light," Dr. Eifion Jewell said.
Jewell is the Senior Technology Transfer Fellow at SPECIFIC, The Sustainable Product Engineering Centre for Innovative Functional Industrial Coatings. SPECIFIC hopes to turn offices and buildings into their own power stations. Covered in the paint, the buildings will be able to create, store and release their own energy.
The first commercial panels will be put on parts of buildings later in 2013. The goal is to create a whole building covered in the new technology by 2014.
Morgan Aguilar contributed to this report.
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