Judges’ Queries and Presenter’s Replies

  • Icon for: Jim White

    Jim White

    Judge
    June 8, 2015 | 11:03 a.m.

    Great animated video, very cool.

    Question: You talked about painting building walls—did you look into how sun exposure (direction and angle) relates to solar cell efficiency?

  • Icon for: Sarah Wagner

    Sarah Wagner

    Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 01:50 p.m.

    Thank you! I wanted the animation to add some playfulness to match the idea. I did look into how the sun’s angle can effect solar energy. Many industrial solar panels have trackers in them so they follow where the sun’s position is to make sure they are as efficient as they can be. While my idea about paint will be stationary, it will be painted on all sides of a building, so the chips can catch sun at any point of the day. Great question, it is making me think more about mobility!

  • Icon for: Geoffrey Bomarito

    Geoffrey Bomarito

    Judge
    June 8, 2015 | 11:24 a.m.

    Awesome idea! How do the solar chips transfer their gathered energy? Is the circuitry of the system constructed before putting it into a paint base?

  • Icon for: Sarah Wagner

    Sarah Wagner

    Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 02:17 p.m.

    Thank you! The graphene in the paint will be what is transferring the paint. It will have a circuit created in the paint. Graphene is a conductor that can be painted or drawn in a way that can be a closed circuit. The graphene will connect the chips together and then connect to the capacitor. Hope this is clearer! Awesome question!

  • June 8, 2015 | 07:01 p.m.

    Cool, versatile idea! What are the current limitations to implementing this technology… or what ‘breakthroughs’ might help improve the efficiency and/or cost of this technology?

  • Icon for: Sarah Wagner

    Sarah Wagner

    Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 02:17 p.m.

    Thank you! This is an interesting question. I tried to make my idea feasible in today’s technology, or the near future technology. What the paint needs is an more explored version of graphene. From the research I have done on it, graphene is made from carbon. Since carbon damages the environment, graphene needs a better base material to be made from. Also solar panels are still expensive, so if more people used them the price would go down. There needs to be a bigger push and more education about solar energy and its benefits!

  • Icon for: Sara Lacy

    Sara Lacy

    Judge
    June 8, 2015 | 10:53 p.m.

    Very interesting idea! Are there are currently solar chips that can be embedded in paint that’s not translucent? How does that work?

  • Icon for: Sarah Wagner

    Sarah Wagner

    Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 02:18 p.m.

    Thank you! I’m sorry I’m not sure what your question means. Could you clarify?

  • Icon for: Sara Lacy

    Sara Lacy

    Judge
    June 10, 2015 | 02:41 p.m.

    Wouldn’t the paint cover the solar chips and keep light from reaching them?

    A second question: You mention heat. What part does heat play in your innovation?

  • Icon for: Sarah Wagner

    Sarah Wagner

    Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 03:19 p.m.

    The chips will be a little thicker than the paint, so they will stand out more and not be covered by paint. The technology for converting heat from the sun is still in the prototype stages. Once that technology is more prominent it could be tied into the idea of the paint since buildings collect as much heat as well as solar energy.

  • Further posting is closed as the competition has ended.

Presentation Discussion

  • Icon for: Matthew Feng

    Matthew Feng

    June 7, 2015 | 10:20 p.m.

    If this highly conductive substance was placed on buildings, would it not create high temperatures for the building, which would counteract the effects of energy generation?
    How expensive would the production of this paint be?
    How will the thin covering be placed on the buildings?
    Over time, it is likely that the thing covering or the paint itself will degrade. How will one maintain its efficiency, and what would be the cost of such maneuvers?

  • Icon for: Callie Cook

    Callie Cook

    June 8, 2015 | 06:08 p.m.

    According to ABC’s television “the new inventors”,
    “Solar Paint is an environmentally friendly solar cell technology that will allow every household in Australia to generate their own electricity, affordably and sustainably.

    The invention involves the development of a completely printable organic solar cell based on semiconducting polymer nanoparticles dispersed in water. Essentially these tiny particles in suspension are a water-based paint, which can be printed or coated over large areas. In the first instance these coatings will be put onto plastic sheets that can be placed on the roof of a house. However, in the longer term it will be possible to directly paint a roof or building surface."

    It seems as though your idea is very similar to this. How does your idea differ from this one?

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    June 9, 2015 | 11:50 p.m.

    In your research paper, you mentioned that a non-conductive material would coat the walls so that contact could still be made with them. What do you plan on coating the conductive paint with? Will this material be another type of paint?
    Also, if people were to renovate, would special measures need to be taken to remove the special paint? How readily available are the materials to manufacture this paint? In other words, how expensive will this paint be?

  • Further posting is closed as the competition has ended.

Icon for: Sarah Wagner

SARAH WAGNER

Scientific Artists
12th Grade

Let's Paint Energy!

Let’s paint energy on to buildings! Buildings, houses, and stores are in the daylight from anywhere between one second to twelve hours. Why not use that amount of light and heat for something? The idea is to mix graphene, water-based paint and tiny solar panel “chips”. This combination will take in solar energy and the heat from the sun through the tiny solar panel chips that are mixed into the paint. The solar energy and heat will then be conducted through the water-based paint to graphene. The graphene will then take this energy to a capacitor, which could have enough power to power the building that is painted. The reason the water-based paint is involved is so that people can still paint their buildings whatever color they would like, but still have the energy saving chips and graphene to gather energy. Plus the water in the paint will help conduct energy.