New see-through solar panels: energy straight from your home windows!

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The prototype already exists and a team of American researchers is currently fine-tuning it: we are talking about a new transparent solar panel.

Soon solar energy will be harnessed through the glass of common domestic windows and anyone will be able to convert solar power in electricity without conceding on transparency and the optical quality of the glass.
The cutting edge in alternative energies comes directly from the States: a team of Michigan University’s researchers has worked for several months on a technology that could finally convert household windows into a clean and sustainable energy source.

These particular see-through solar panels created by the American scientists is produced from a plastic stuff capable of converting solar rays into electric power through a sophisticated luminescent solar concentrator. The project itself is not a breakthrough within last generation solar panels, but for the first time the researchers succeeded in keeping unaltered the transparency of the material thanks to a glass-looking transparent film.

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This development was achieved by exploiting a non visible wavelength beyond infra-red and ultraviolet rays to change the organic molecules absorbing solar rays. The harnessed luminescence then moves to the edges of the material where it becomes energy.

The structure of these panels looks completely transparent because it does not absorb or emit visible light, exactly like glass. They can also be adapted to fit perfectly into any appliance that requires glass, like frames, windows, cars and even smartphones (therefore rechargeable at no cost). Nice to look at, discreet, eco-friendly
If everything goes as expected, this discovery may change forever the future of solar energy and its related technologies.

[Image courtesy of Yimu Zhao/MSU]

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