Invisible solar energy systems becoming more feasible

Invisible solar energy systems becoming more feasible

March 15, 2013 0 By Stephen Vagus

solar energy technology

Solar energy systems may soon replace windows

Invisible solar cells have been a very attractive notion for the world of renewable energy for some time. Researchers interested in clean technology consider such solar cells to be an innovative way to solve some of the problems associated with solar energy, such as its adoption by large corporations. Such solar cells are not actually invisible, rather they are transparent but capable of collecting sunlight and converting it into electrical power. Researchers from New Energy Technologies, a research and development firm focused on renewable energy, has recently made a significant breakthrough concerning invisible solar cells.

Researchers develop transparent solar cells

New Energy Technologies has teamed with the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory to develop new solar energy systems. The public-private partnership has been focused largely on the development of transparent solar cells that could be suitable replacements for windows in large buildings. These solar cells would be able to collect sunlight and convert it into electrical power while also allowing much of this light to reach the interior of a building.

Solar cells win more support from National Renewable Energy Laboratory

In 2012, New Energy Technology researchers developed a working transparent solar module that was capable of collecting solar energy. This was accomplished through the development of a coating that would be applied to a transparent surface. The coating is based on the world’s smallest functional organic solar cells, which researchers claim is only one-fourth the size of a grain of rice. This week, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory renewed its partnership with New Energy Technologies in order to pursue the company’s transparent solar energy systems further.

Transparent solar cells could be a major boon for large buildings

Transparent solar energy systems have major implications for energy generation, especially in large cities. Invisible solar cells could be used to replace all the windows in a skyscraper, such as those found in New York City,  and these solar cells could meet 100% of a building’s energy needs. Surplus energy could be funneled into a city’s energy grid, thus bolstering a city’s supply of renewable power. The problem, however, is finding a way to accomplish this feat in an affordable manner.