First fully transparent solar cells aim to turn windows into solar panels

What does the adjective transparent mean exactly? And what color are solar cells usually?

Transparent usually defines something that is so fine in texture that can be seen through. This word is also used for a material that allows the uninterrupted passage of light. Solar cells are usually of a color between gray and blue.

Last year a group of researchers of the University were able to create something which seemed impossible before: a transparent solar cell. Without going in to too much technical detail, let’s just say that if normal photovoltaic cells produce energy capturing the sunlight and transforming it into energy, these cells harvest only a part of the solar spectrum. The part that is harvested is the one that is not visible to the human eye. Another part is able to then pass through. To be more precise they are solar concentrators. If placed over transparent surfaces produce energy but also allow to see through.

Clean Energy Power

So now we can finally start dreaming about clean energy taking power. Just imagine the unlimited possibilities that this idea will open up. Producing energy from a transparent surface means these cells can be used in houses and tall buildings. They could even be used on windows or for mobile devices.

This could also be utilized for mobile phones. Unfortunately these cells will not completely solve your mobile problems but may offer a couple of hours more of life to your battery. Something very useful when you have to make an emergency call and your cell phone is dead.

For the moment the cells only have an efficiency of 1% but the researchers are confident that they will reach 5% soon. While these are not high percentages but thanks to the aesthetic characteristics of these cells, it will be possible to use them on a large scale, compensating these figures.

The product is now commercialized by Ubiquitous Energy, a MIT startup based in Silicon Valley. So pay attention, a revolution is coming and you will not see it, it is a transparent revolution!

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