Researchers may have made a breakthrough in solar energy

August 22, 2014 0 By Alicia Moore

New transparent solar concentrator could change the way people get their solar power

A team of researchers from the Michigan State University have designed a new solar concentrator that could change the way energy is derived from sunlight. The new concentrator is completely transparent and researchers suggest that it can be affixed to windows, collecting solar energy without actually blocking sunlight. This could be a major breakthrough in photovoltaic technology, if the concentrator can deliver on its energy production promises and change the way solar power is collected.

Solar concentrator is completely transparent but can still produce electrical power

Researchers claim that the transparent solar concentrator can be used on buildings, mobile devices, and nearly anything that requires a clear surface. The idea of a transparent solar panel is nothing new and researchers from around the world have been trying to develop a favorable solution for years. The problem, however, is that many of these solutions involve the use of materials that changes the color of light.

Materials used to develop new concentrator do not absorb visible light

solar energy - transparencyThe transparent solar concentrator can be tuned to the needs of those using it Researchers note that it can be made to absorb ultraviolet light as well as infrared light, using either to generate electrical power through its array of solar cells. The materials used to develop the solar concentrator are not capable of absorbing visible light, which is why the concentrator appears to be peculiarly transparent to the human eye.

Transparent solar cells could replace more traditional solar energy installations in the future

One of the major appeals of transparent solar cells is that they are quite flexible. They can be used in office buildings and at homes, serving as an effective way to generate electrical power. In the future, such solutions may end up being less expensive than conventional solar installations due to the construction needs of conventional installations. Researchers from the Michigan State University will continue to work on their new solar energy solution in order to find ways to improve on their current design.