Transparent Solar Panels Will Turn Windows Into Green Energy Collectors

We are living at an age where we should be very much vigilant about the ways that we use energy. It is not a secret that many energy sources are getting dried up with time and it is the high time for us to focus our attention more on energy sources that will not be over with time. In that regard, solar energy plays an important role as it is mostly available for many countries around the world except for very cold regions and that is why scientists are paying more attention to that.

Researchers from Michigan State University developed completely transparent solar panels that can be used in numerous fields including architecture, mobile electronics, and the automotive industry.

Researchers from Michigan State University developed completely transparent solar panels that can be used in numerous fields including architecture, mobile electronics, and the automotive industry.

Even though several attempts were taken earlier to create something like this, they were not successful and this time the team focused on the see-through factor. They developed a transparent luminescent solar concentrator which is called as TLSC and this could easily be placed over a clear surface like a window. It can easily collect solar energy without affecting the transmittance of light.

A transparent luminescent solar concentrator waveguide is shown with colorful traditional luminescent solar concentrators in the background. The new LSC can create solar energy but is not visible on windows or other clear surfaces – Courtesy of Michigan State University, Photography: G.L. Kohuth

The technology used in this creation involves organic molecules which absorb light wavelengths such as infrared and ultraviolet light which are not visible to the human eyes.

An assistant professor of chemical engineering and material science at MSU’s college of engineering said that,

We can tune these materials to pick up just the ultraviolet and the near infrared wavelengths that then ‘glow’ at another wavelength in the infrared. The captured light is transported to the contour of the panel, where it is converted to electricity with the help of thin strips of photovoltaic solar cells.”

Yimu Zhao, a doctoral student in chemical engineering and materials science, and Richard Lunt, assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science – Photography: Photo by G.L. Kohuth

Yimu Zhao, a doctoral student in chemical engineering and materials science, and Richard Lunt, assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science – Photography: Photo by G.L. Kohuth

The best thing about this creation is that they would not affect the architectural design and can even be used to cover building facades.

According to the research:

“If the cells can be made long-lasting, they could be integrated into windows relatively cheaply, as much of the cost of conventional photovoltaics is not from the solar cell itself, but the materials it is mounted on, like aluminum and glass. Coating existing structures with solar cells would eliminate some of this material cost.

Researcher Yimu Zhao holding up a transparent luminescent solar concentrator module – Photography: Yimu Zhao

If the transparent cells ultimately prove commercially viable, the power they generate could significantly offset the energy use of large buildings, said Dr. Lunt, who will begin teaching at Michigan State University this fall.

“We’re not saying we could power the whole building, but we are talking about a significant amount of energy, enough for things like lighting and powering everyday electronics,”

Further studies are also being conducting about this and if this really works out, surely we would have a good solution for the energy crisis in the world!

Via : whatzviral.com