Home, business and automobile windows may soon be able to generate electricity according to UCLA researchers. The discovery of polymer solar cell capability enables the new material to utilize light well into the infrared spectrum while remaining 70% transparent.
This material is still in the first iteration and as with other inventions we can anticipate that it will be improved rapidly.
We have also learned that a process has been discovered that allows solar cell carbon nano fibers to be printed on plastic which may open the door for increasingly flexible solar panels that can be fitted nearly anywhere. How about sun glasses that recharge your cell phone, or auto glass that operates accessories? Could house windows produce sufficient power to light a room? We will soon see!
With a relatively low temperature process, the researchers' method could allow for the possibility that solar cells can be printed onto plastic instead of glass without melting – resulting in a flexible solar panel that can be shaped to fit almost anywhere.
UCLA researchers have developed a new transparent solar cell that is an advance toward giving windows in homes and other buildings the ability to generate electricity while still allowing people to see outside.
Visibly transparent photovoltaic devices can open photovoltaic applications in many areas, such as building-integrated photovoltaics or integrated photovoltaic chargers for portable electronics. We demonstrate high-performance, visibly transparent polymer solar cells fabricated via solution processing.