Gallery: UCLA Develops Electricity-Generating, Transparent Solar Cell W...

 

A team from UCLA has developed a new transparent solar cell that has the ability to generate electricity while still allowing people to see outside. In short, they’ve created a solar power-generating window! Described as “a new kind of polymer solar cell (PSC)” that produces energy by absorbing mainly infrared light instead of traditional visible light, the photoactive plastic cell is nearly 70% transparent to the human eye—so you can look through it like a traditional window.

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2 Comments

  1. abumkim August 10, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    It’s kind of interesting. On the surface, figuratively speaking, this kind of technology seems promising to the casual reader. But for folks that study and research building performance, especially folks that understand daylighting and solar heat gain implications with respect to energy-efficiency (more specifically, demand reductions). The coupling of transparent solar cells to windows will inevitably create another allusive “red herring.” We can’t PV our way to sustainability; it’s a variable in a long process. Especially, if optimizing PV will naturally encourage architects to overglaze the south facade. It already takes a skilled group to balance solar heat gain, view glass, avoidance of glare,etc…. Statistically speaking, it’s rare a group actually pulls it off. Adding another variable, like solar cell windows, is interesting technology; but I’m afraid the far majority of architects will abuse it rather than use it sparingly within good building design. But if someone could, I would give it up to them!

    -World Piece

  2. collisb July 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    hmmm….

    Time to start tooling up Solyndra.

    ./c

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