Solar power is considered to be one of the best options when it comes to energy.
And according to experts, transparent solar panels have might just be the future of energy.
The researchers from the Michigan State University have developed clear solar panels that look like the usual glass.
Just like the traditional solar panels, they are placed on the top window or on the roof to get solar energy.
A clear benefit to this development is its scalability, from smartphone screens to skyscrapers with a multitude of windows, solar concentrators that are truly transparent could be used for a variety of applications and could eliminate one of the common objections to a solar power switch: “Where will we put the panels?”
Researchers call this panel the transparent luminescent solar concentrator which makes use of organic molecules. With its clear glass, it can absorb ultraviolet lights and infrared lights. The photovoltaic solar cells gather the light and convert it to electricity.
Many previous studies have also attempted to create this kind of solar panel using the same technology. But the results were not transparent. According to Richard Lunt, an assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science at MSU, no person wants to use colored glass. Clear solar panels would have different uses that can be used for residential and commercial purposes. Even vehicles can use these clear solar panels.
Furthermore Lunt said that it can even be used for industrial purpose. High rise buildings can actually use these clear solar panels especially those with several windows. Based on the results of the study, the current version has 1% efficiency and researchers aim to increase that above 5%. On the other hand, colored solar cells can have up to 7% efficiency while opaque solar cells can have a 15% efficiency or even more.
The clear solar panels may just be the future of energy. Although there are still studies to be conducted to further improve its quality and efficiency, the use of solar power is definitely a viable option.
The study was written by Yimu Zhao, Garrett A. Meek, Benjamin G. Levine and Richard R. Lunt. It was published in the journal Advanced Optical Materials.