Transparent solar panels will replace glass

Transparent Solar Panels | Michigan State University

Transparent solar panels will replace glass

Scientists at the University of Michigan have developed reasonably efficient fully transparent photocells that can be used instead of glass in windows of buildings, cars and electronics..

The transparent fluorescent solar concentrator consists of a thin plastic material containing special organic molecules that are capable of absorbing infrared and ultraviolet rays, converting them into electricity. Researchers can «tune» these materials by adjusting the working range. However, transparent photocells will always be inferior to conventional options. At the moment, they are able to convert a little over 5% of solar energy into electricity, while traditional panels are 15-18%.

According to scientists, the current efficiency of the technology is only a third of its maximum potential. Even though the conversion rate is low, with the global use of transparent solar panels instead of windows, they can generate up to 40% of all electricity consumed, and in combination with traditional rooftop solar cells, this figure can approach 100%.

Transparent solar panels will replace glass

Physicists continue to improve technology, striving to achieve 15% efficiency. They say the development can be applied to more than just windows of buildings. Transparent photocells can be installed in cars, electronics and on top of any flat surfaces.

Earlier, we wrote about the development of flexible and durable perovskite photocells that can even cover clothes..

text: Ilya Bauer, photo: University of Michigan