A new study conducted by a group of American inventors suggests that solar panels that have a transparent base and installed on the windows of living quarters can provide just as much electricity as solar installations that are install on the roof of the house.
A group of engineers representing the Michigan State University published the results of their recent experiment on the pages of Nature Energy. Scientists concluded that in case of wide distribution of transparent solar panels and addition of their capacities with solar panels on the roofs of buildings, one could fully satisfy the US energy demands for electricity supply.
Professor of the University of Michigan R. Lunt said that solar panels, having a transparent base, could become the future of solar energy and open new doors to humanity.
Scientists have conducted a number of studies and concluded that transparent solar panels, collecting only invisible light, can provide a powerful energy potential for generating electricity. In addition, the engineers made an analogy between the productivity of the solar roof and the solar panels on a transparent basis. This technology can significantly improve the efficiency of generating capacities of buildings, small electronics (including mobile devices), and vehicles.
Professor Richard Lunt is part of the team of engineers from Michigan and managed to develop a device that collects solar energy a transparent base. In addition, it should be note that a transparent solar panel could use on any surface with an equally high efficiency.
The principle of transparent panels is to absorb invisible light radiation due to organic molecules in the composition. Engineers also said that innovative panels could be tune to certain light waves: they can perceive both ultraviolet and infrared radiation and convert it later into electricity.
In addition, Richard Lunt said that the main advantage of the system is the possibility of large-scale deployment.
According to Professor Lunt, the panels on a transparent basis open many opportunities for the deployment of solar energy in a non-intrusive way. They can be used on tall buildings with a large number of windows or to power any mobile device (phone or electronic book), which requires the miniaturization and functionality of the energy carrier.
He added that the researchers were able to produce panels with a transparent solar collecting layer. “No one wants to sit behind the colored glass,” he said. “It creates the feeling that you are working in a discotheque with the same lighting.”
Although transparent solar panels are still under development, Lunt said that they are unlikely ever be as effective as their opaque colleagues on the roof are.
Their advantage, however, lies in the much larger surface area that they potentially can occupy. Researchers note that about six billion square meters are accessible m² external surfaces in the form of windows.
Engineers also reported that the history of the study of the usual solar coatings is estimate in the tens of years, and active interest in transparent panels appeared only some five years ago.
Professor Lunt said that transparent solar panels can become one of the most inexpensive and widespread coatings for generating electricity from solar energy in large and small areas that were not previously available to people.