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 2015-12-10 16:59 (#X9DX)

I'm not sure I get the distinction between protecting forest ecosystems and desert ecosystems. As someone who lives in the west I can tell you there are lots and lots of plants in the "mostly-empty" desert. Very few parts of the vast expanse between the continental divide in Colorado and the Sierra Nevadas in California are not filled with sage brush, juniper trees, pinyon pines, etc. Just because it's not an old-growth forest doesn't mean it isn't worth protecting. The whole "it's just the desert" mentality is why there are hundreds of threatened, endangered, and critically endangered species in the west. The whole idea of protecting individual animals and plants is that all species play a role in the ecosystem, and taking one species out threatens others in ways that are often unpredictable.
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Of the numbers ninety four, 29, ninety nine, eighty, three or 19, which is the biggest?