See-through solar windows see promise

Smart Planet
April 26, 2011
COMMERCIAL, FABRICATION

Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass., recently developed a translucent solar cell that they hope could one day turn windows into small power stations. The organic photovoltaic cells allow visible light to pass through window glass while they capture the sun’s nearly infrared light for the purpose of generating electricity.

Such solar cells have been created before, but the efficiency of see-through solar cells has always been a problem. It still pretty much is, though the researchers have improved upon it, publishing their work in Applied Physics Letters. Their prototype cells have reached 1.7 percent efficiency, compared to the less than 1 percent of previous attempts at the tech. Opaque cells of the same kind achieve around 2.4 percent efficiency, according to an April 25 Smart Planet report.

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