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.

You know what's even better than putting solar panels on windows? (Score: 2, Funny)

by on 2015-12-08 04:37 (#X01Z)

Putting them on the wall! You no longer need to purposely cripple your panel by making it transparent to 70% of the energy in solar spectrum!

You know what's even better than putting solar panels on the wall? Putting them on the roof! That way you can lay them flat to catch the sun better.

You know what's even better than putting them on the roof? Putting them on the ground! That way you can put them on sun-tracking mounts, and easily walk around and make repairs/replacements as needed.

You know what's even better than putting them on the ground? Putting them on the ground in the desert! That way you don't need to pay for expensive city real-estate.

But that's what all the BIG BORING companies keep trying. Let's do the window thing! That sounds fun!
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