Transparent Solar Panels

A team of researchers from Michigan State University managed to develop fully transparent solar panels – a breakthrough that could lead to countless applications in architecture, as well as other fields such as mobile electronics or the automotive industry. Previous attempts to create such a device have been made, but results were never satisfying enough, with low efficiency and poor material quality

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

“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” – Richard Lunt, assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science at MSU’s College of Engineering. 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.

Solar panels are great, particularly when you are looking at making your home a lot more energy efficient. Here at Energy Formula, we’re looking forward at helping you reach your goal.  If you’ve been looking at the idea of solar panels but you just can’t get behind their functionality as far aster aesthetic appeal, you aren’t alone. There are many people whose sole reason for not going solar is due to the appearance of the panel itself.  No you have a new way to consider looking at solar power: through transparent solar panels!

How do transparent solar panels work?

These are exactly as simple as they sound. They’re panes of glass that are coated in a solar concentrator top layer that acts as the solar panel itself. Invisible to the eye, this super lightweight coating can be applied to any clear surface and give it maximum solar potential while still keeping the window itself perfectly clear.  This is essentially an invisible solar panel!

These unique transparent solar panels work by using molecules to absorb the light that hits the glass and then transporting it to the actual contour of the panel and converting it into energy through the photovoltaic cells that you know about already.  

This development would make the most out of the buildings’ facades, since the vertical footprint is often larger than the rooftop one – especially for glass towers. Solar harvesting of Transparent Solar Panels would, thus, become more efficient and aesthetically, without altering the architectural design. Moreover, this technology could be easily integrated in old buildings.

The process of their power is exactly as you would expect, but it’s so special and unique to think that it happens entirely invisible to the naked eye in the form of a film that can be spread over any clear surface.  Truly, it’s the stuff of legends, but it is very much  real life.

Perks of transparent solar panels

There are no end of perks to consider for transparent solar panels, but her are some of the leading options to know about for our world as we know it. 

  • It allows for skyscrapers to engage with renewable energy: We already know that there are all sorts of skyscrapers and such kinds of buildings that are filled to the brim with glass.  This means that there are floors and floors, and panes and panes of glass already there ready to be used for solar power.  We just have to use it. 
  • It’s simple to apply and easy to benefit from: This film must be applied correctly, but it is easy to do so by professionals, and it will be as simple as “peel and stick” as far as the benefits . No complicated software, no upkeep. It’s just a covering for windows of any size and maximum solar power. 
  • It can be an after-market solution: Buildings new and old can benefit from the use of transparent solar panels as it is intended as an after-market treatment to consider for glass in both commercial and residential buildings. 

While transparent solar panels have only 1% energy efficiency right now compared to the blue and black ones that you’ve seen before, there’s a lot of hope that this will continue to build and grow as more people get interested in solar power and the technologies that can be used to put it into effect a bit more realistically for commercial buildings. 

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