Paint these days does more than just covering the walls. Scientists have already developed a paint that can convert your walls into solar cells (a tiny device that converts heat and light from the sun into electricity) and now they have achieved another breakthrough that could change the way we use paints.
Apparently, Korean scientists have developed a special type of paint-Thermoelectric paint– that can convert heat into electricity.
So what the hell is thermoelectric paint?
For starters, it’s a step up from photovoltaic paint, that converts sunlight into electricity. Thermoelectric paint basically captures waste heat from hot painted surfaces and converts it into electricity.
The good news is that this paint can be painted over the surface of any shape, giving it an edge over thermoelectric materials that face inevitable loss in efficiency as they can be fabricated on flat surfaces only.
What’s so special about it?
Well, thermoelectric paint contains Bismuth Telluride and other materials that act as sintering aids, causing the paint particles to coalesce and form a dense mass on the application of heat.
After sintering for 10 minutes at 450 °C, the painted layers form a uniform film about 50 micrometres thick and exhibited a high output power density 4 milli-Watt per centimetre square, which BTW is pretty high!
Is it any good?
Well, there’s a world out there to be explored as this super-cool paint has just been developed. But scientists say that apart from being used for traditional purposes i.e. painting the exterior walls of our homes, it could be used in wearable devices and 3D printing art among others.