In recent months, we’ve seen a lot of companies developing new technologies for solar cells to create energy-generating windows. Most are small squares that have to be manufactured in a temperature controlled lab vacuum, but New Energy Technologies has unveiled SolarWindow, a working prototype that is simply sprayed with the company’s eco-friendly electricity generating film to produce energy. The company estimates that when applied to the facade of an office tower, the windows could generate 300 percent more energy than solar panels mounted on a building’s roof.

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A working prototype powers a toy helicopter

Details about the product’s make-up have not been released, but New Energy stated that the film replaces the visibility blocking metal used in most solar panels with eco-friendly compounds. The film is 1/10th the thickness of current thin films, which allows the glass remains to transparent. It can generate electricity from natural and artificial light, and New Energy says they perform 10 times better than current solar film technologies.

New Energy sprays the film over the world’s smallest organic solar cells — smaller than a grain of rice — which allow the energy-generating film to be applied at room temperature and makes for inexpensive manufacturing. Because of their transparency, versatility, and eco-friendly compounds, the windows could be used in every type of building, from single family homes to office building skyscrapers.

WHY THIS MATTERS

While colorful and non-transparent solar cells and windows are great for commercial structures, they aren’t the best for residential buildings and private homes. A see-through, uncolored solar window like the one developed by New Energy could mean that all buildings could have energy-generating windows, without sacrificing access to natural daylight. Plus, the windows are cheaper and potentially more efficient than traditional solar panels.

Via Green Optimistic

Images © New Energy Technologies