Within the next 5 to 10 years, you may be able to coat your house (literally) in a thin film solar-cell technology that is literally sprayed on, if Norwegian company EnSol gets its way. EnSol's power-generating spray-on film, which may hit the market as soon as 2016, can be applied on any surface--exterior walls, your fence, and even windows.
How, exactly, are you supposed to see through a window with solar technology on it? EnSol's application process for the coating Norwegian you adjust how much coating you want applied to the surface.
Instead of turning your house into a cave, you'll have slightly tinted windows that catch some 8-10% of the light and let the rest through. Or, if one side of your house received more sunlight than you like, you can increase the thickness of the coating, further reducing the amount of light that comes through the window.
Needless to say, EnSol has yet to release pricing information for its solar film, but the company plans to begin commercial production by 2016. EnSol is hoping to increase the solar film's efficiency to the point where it'll be able to convert around 20% of the energy it absorbs into energy you can use, which compared to other forms of energy is substantial.
If you're interested in learning more about how this new technology works, be sure to visit EnSol's R&D page.
Perhaps I should consider coating my poor college-car Ford Taurus with it and boost the mileage a bit!
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