Tapping on sun light shining on your windowsSunday, August 5th, 2012 by Roberto Saracco
Solar panels are becoming more and more common on our roofs and in the gardens. But, so some researchers at the UCLA reasoned, why not turning our windows into solar panels?
One of the problem, of course, is the fact that windows need to be transparent (to be called windows) and solar panels are not. But this can be solved according to researchers at the UCLA and the California NanoSystems Institute.
They have invented transparent solar cells that can be layered on windows to produce electricity out of solar light.
As shown in the photo on the left, the solar cell looks like a almost polyethylene layer (it has a 70% transparency) that can be applied on the window pane.
It remains (mostly) transparent because it absorb infrared light, not the one in our visible spectrum. They have invented a plastic (a polymer) that capture infrared light and converts it into electricity.
As electrodes they use transparent nano wires. The production process designed result in high volume and low cost PSC (Polymer Solar Cells) but the light to energy transformation efficiency is still pretty low (around 4%). Still researchers are quite happy with the results, being this the first time that a quasi transparent PSC can be industrially produced.
Tags: solar panels