For several years now, tech companies have been at work to developclear solar panels that can double as windows, but the Current Window provides a gorgeous stained glass twist on that idea. Created by Dutch designer Marjan van Aubel, the window generates an electrical current by harvesting the energy created when sunlight hits a colored pigment—much like photosynthesis in a plant—and sends that power to a USB port in the window ledge.

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According to van Aubel, “The glass pieces are made of ‘Dye Sensitised Solar Cells’, which use the properties of colour to create an electrical current—just like photosynthesis in plants. Similarly to the various shades of green chlorophyll absorbing light, the coloured window panes harness energy.” That energy can then be used to power small appliances; a USB port in the window ledge can charge a standard smart phone in about seven hours.

Related: UCLA develops electricity-generating transparent solar cell windows

But that’s just with one relatively small window—the designer hopes that if replicated on a larger scale, say over the vast colorful facades of churches, or in schools, the Current Window could provide clean energy in a uniquely beautiful form on a much larger scale.

+ Current Window

Via Fast Co. Design