A growing number of people are turning their houses into small-scale power plants, mostly by installing solar panels on the roof.

But there’s new research that could turn the walls of some houses into their own power banks.

A team at Washington University in St. Louis can essentially turn bricks into batteries.


In one sense we’ve always known bricks could store energy, since they can absorb and hold heat from the sun.

But this is a little different.

The researchers developed a special coating that conducts electricity, and it can go right into the pores of the brick to its core.

It utilizes the iron oxide, or rust, that makes red bricks red to trigger the reaction that, as they put it, turns the brick into an “ion sponge.”

They can’t generate their own power, so they would still need an external source like a solar panel, but the scientists believe these “smart bricks” could hold a considerable amount of energy for a home.

Once again that third little pig, the one that built the house out of bricks, was right on.


I didn’t know I needed to see art made from ceramic bananas but that’s just how clever the art by Koji Kasatani is.

They look just like actual bananas and peels, even if they’re placed in some playful and silly situations, like the pair of banana peels practicing their dance steps.

Storing energy in red bricks (Washington University in St. Louis)

Plump and Peeled Ceramic Bananas Shape Koji Kasatani’s Evocative Sculptures (Colossal)

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Brick wall photo by Rob MacEwen via Flickr/Creative Commons