Transparent solar cells that could power skyscrapers

in hardware on (#WX4Z)
story imageResearch has boosted solar panel efficiency over time. But some scientists argue that to truly take advantage of the sun's power, we also need to expand the amount of real estate that can be outfitted with solar, by making cells that are nearly or entirely see-through, i-e transparent cells.

A Silicon Valley start-up named "Ubiquitous Energy" has succeeded in creating such transparent solar cells. ClearView is a transparent solar cell that can coat any surface, including displays and windows, to harvest ambient light and generate electricity. Ubiquitous Energy has redesigned the solar cell to selectively transmit light visible to the human eye while absorbing only the ultraviolet and infrared light and converting it into electricity.
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That doesn't seem to mesh with their goal of completely eliminating the need for batteries in small consumer gadgets and even smart phones, as LED lighting doesn't emit ultraviolet or infrared, and there isn't always a window nearby. Still a potentially revolutionary technology in other applications, but unfortunately it's in the very, very early stages of development.

Re: Or (Score: 1)

by on 2016-09-01 13:18 (#1S9HE)

Arizona is a sad case because libertarian fools run the state, and they refuse on principle to regulate and manage their natural resources sustainably, like adults.

California is a better model. Aquifers are recharged, usage restrictions are enacted, tiers are lowered, grey water is required for commercial landscaping, etc. Desalination is used to some extent as the technology gets cheaper, and tertiary treated sewage goes back into the water supply, creating a loop. Those last two offer a practically endless supply of water that can scale up to any population size.

Arizona could do all of this and would have ample water, but it's politically unpopular to talk about such things there, and they may need a harsh wake up call before the necessary reforms can be implemented.

But more importantly, even with that mismanagement, they're still doing infinitely less damage to infinitely fewer species than if people were developing old growth forests into cities and suburbs, or building just about anywhere else in the country, for that matter.

You have to keep in mind that there's almost NOWHERE with enough water. Forty out of fifty US states expect water shortages: . It's best to just accept that we can't stick a hose in the ground and pump enough water for everyone. Then we can move forward to practical management efforts, and it's doable everywhere, even the deserts. With California's jump-start on water management decades before anybody else was interested, I'm sure there are much wetter locales which will be hit much harder by droughts. Atlanta is one such example.
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