Transparent solar panels could be the windows of the future
At a time when the world is striving for a low-carbon future to curb the worst effects of climate change, solar power should certainly be one of our strongest allies. The solar energy market will continue to grow year after year. The annual market growth rate will be 24.2% between 2016 and 2022. However, the actual market for solar energy could grow even faster if new advances are developed that have not yet reached the market. New products that are making solar panels safer and more efficient. One of them could be that the windows will start to work as solar panels.
But to what extent are transparent solar technologies viable? Could we really generate electricity from office windows, homes, car sunroofs, or even smartphones?
Transparent solar panels is a technology that collects and uses light energy through windows or any glass surface, regardless of angle. It has the potential to be a game changer in expanding the reach of solar energy.
In terms of engineering, researchers have created various means of transparent solar technology. However, most of them function more like transparent solar concentrators, which means they are made to absorb certain wavelengths of ultraviolet and infrared light that are not visible to the naked eye and transform them into energy capable of powering electronic devices.
This technology innovation is also called photovoltaic glass, and is manufactured to provide a variable level of transparency. Back in 2014, researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) developed the first fully transparent solar concentrator, which could turn almost any sheet of glass or window into a photovoltaic cell.
In 2020, scientists in the United States and Europe have made solar glass 100% transparent, moving us one step closer to the goal of a sustainable future that is off the grid from the fossil fuel industry.
Benefits that solar panels would bring
Transparent solar panels are incredibly important as, in modern society, glass is pretty much everywhere. From your phone screen to skyscrapers, there are an estimated 5 to 7 billion square meters of glass surfaces in the United States. Imagine the amount of electricity that could be generated if we could harness that energy.
Taking this into account, it should also be borne in mind that conventional solar panels require a large installation area, as well as a considerable initial cost. Due to these limitations, it is difficult to implement them in metropolitan places. Transparent solar panels can instead be deployed in these areas, paving the way for net-zero energy buildings and helping cities meet their climate targets and goals.
Furthermore, Solar energy is our future. It can help fight climate change, as well as solve many of the world’s energy problems.
The future of high-tech solar
This is not just an idea on paper, as transparent solar technologies are already appearing around the world.
For example, the design of the Copenhagen International School uses 12,000 colored but transparent solar panels throughout the building, producing 200 MWh of energy per year, which is apparently more than half of the energy consumed by the building.
In another example that took place last year, the College of Biomedical and Physical Sciences building on the Michigan State University campus was upgraded with the installation of 100-square-foot clear glass solar panels that were placed over the building’s entrance. they will produce enough electricity to power your foyer lighting.
However, there are some drawbacks along the way. Before the technology can be scaled up, scientists have to increase their efficiency, as there is a balance between efficiency and transparency. The more transparent the panel, the less efficient it is, so transparent panels are not expected to outperform or replace the standard solar panels we are used to. In any case, the technology could help humanity get to a truly sustainable and greener future more quickly. Reported Iraic.info, news and information agency.