There has been a number of transparent solar cell concepts developed by scientists and solar experts, but none with such an ambitious claim made by SolarWindows Technologies reported Inhabitat.
The Maryland-based start-up, announced that their revolutionary power generating windows that they claim to generate 50 times more power as compared to standard solar panels per building will soon hit the market. Unlike the standard and frosty PV technology, SolarWindowcan be readily used as a coating to any glass window or any plastic surface and immediately generate electricity, even in the shade or artificial light. The company claims that the SolarWindow technology can produce more power at a more affordable cost and offers
The company claims that the SolarWindow technology can produce more power at a more affordable cost and offers quick return of investment in just one year. This is good news since conventional solar systems require at least 5-11 years to recoup your investment.
The concept of transparent solar cells that can transform skyscrapers into solar farms and smartphone screens into small solar panels is an exciting news, but nothing is new. The Michigan State University scientists last year unveiled a fully transparent solar concentrator lets visible light pass through and uses organic molecules in guiding ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths to the edges of the glass.
This is where tiny photovoltaic cells transform non-visible light into electricity. However, the conversion rate for the glass prototype is just 1%, where standard photovoltaics can generate between 20%-25% conversion efficiency.
For the SolarWindow team, their technology is a different story. They stated that the coatings would be organic, which is mainly of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen but was unclear on the scientific details. But, if SolarWindows are expected to produce 50x the energy, it’s safe to assume that it will be converting visible light into electricity as well.
The team said that there are different layers in the coating, but the important point the company discussed is the Active Layer where the electricity is generated by the absorption of light; and the transparent conductors which allows the electricity to be extracted. The liquid coatings would be applied at ambient pressures and should be dried at low temperatures to produce the transparent films.
Image credit: Solar Window Technologies