UCLA researchers make a breakthrough in transparent solar cells

UCLA researchers make a breakthrough in transparent solar cells

July 23, 2012 0 By Alicia Moore

Solar Power

Research team makes progress with solar energy technology

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have made progress on the research and development of transparent solar cells. These types of solar cells have been growing in popularity within the science and technology communities because of their possible applications in creating solar energy systems. Because they are transparent, the cells could be affixed to windows, allowing for the passive generation of solar energy without the need for the common photovoltaic solar panels that are often associated with solar energy installations.

New transparent solar cells could have major implications for solar energy

The research and development of transparent solar cells has been going on for several years. Breakthroughs have been relatively uncommon, but UCLA researchers believe they have made promising progress in making transparent solar cells a reality. Researchers have developed a solar cell that is 70% invisible to the human eye and capable of producing electricity through the absorption of infrared light. Professor Yang Yang, director of the Nano Renewable Energy Center at the California NanoSystems Institute and leader of the research team, believes that this breakthrough could have promising implications to the world of solar energy.

Cells made of lightweight, cost effective materials

According to UCLA researchers, the new transparent solar cells are made of plastic-like materials that make them lightweight and flexible. These materials also mean that the solar cells can be produced in large quantities at an affordable price. Such a feature is expected to be a major boon for the solar cells if they should ever reach the commercial market. The UCLA research team has conducted studies concerning their transparent solar cell, the findings of which can be found in the journal ACS Nano.

Solar cells may make solar energy more popular

With solar energy beginning to garner more attention in the U.S. for its applications in the residential sector, efforts to make more efficient and effective solar energy technologies have begun to grow more serious. Transparent solar cells could help solar energy gain popularity as it would add more versatility to energy systems and provide consumers with greater variety.


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