Outfit your windows with transparent solar panels?

by
Anonymous Coward
in science on (#GTCK)
Despite the immense potential of solar energy, at present, roof-mounted photovoltaic panels are able at best to capture about 20% of the available energy. And that despite research that has led to gains! To improve energy generation, you either increase solar panel efficiency, or increase their coverage. Enter a Silicon Valley startup named "Ubiquitous Energy."

Ubiquitous Energy produces transparent solar cells using an organic chemical process they call "Clearview Power Technology." They claim their panels cost less than traditional tech and can be built 1000x thinner than a human hair. The system captures ultraviolet and infrared light and lets the rest pass through as it would normally.

National Geographic has a look at the technology here.

Is this an important step forward in solar power generation, or does adding windows to the mix constitute a gimmick? How do we get people more interested in solar energy?

[Ed. Note: the article image chosen here is of an invisible solar panel placed over the entirety of the text.]

Re: Expensive, less efficient, and very limited (Score: 1)

by kwerle@pipedot.org on 2015-08-10 15:40 (#GZNR)

Buildings vary a great deal. One World Trade Center has one hell of a lot more window area than roof area. So does the Empire State Building.
Yes, and if you're going to be building a glass skyscraper then this is something you'll want to think about once they have move beyond 9 square inches of surface area.

But for most of us, panels on the roof are a good solution at the present.
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