Clear solar windows may be a next-generation energy source
by Pinedale Online!
December 21, 2014
Researchers at Michigan State University are working on developing transparent solar collectors that let sunlight in while turning ultraviolet and near-infrared light into electricity. The clear plastic solar collectors can be placed on windows without obstructing the view or on car windows to collect energy.
At first, commercial applications are likely to appear on small energy-requiring applications such as adhered to the screens of mobile devices. In cities, where space is limited to install solar panels, but buildings have a lot of window space already built in, the technology has the potential to supplement the building’s current energy use. Just like today’s solar panels, the technology still isn’t very energy efficient. But if researchers can figure out how to maximize the energy recovery, it could help reduce reliance on outside energy sources and provide buildings with an independent backup energy source.
Read the article on the Smithsonian website here: This Clear Plastic Material Harvests Solar Energy Without You Even Knowing It's There By Matt Safford, Smithsonian.com, September 30, 2014
Click on this link to read more about a company founded by the researchers working on commercializing this light harvesting technology: www.ubiquitous-energy.com.