As the world strives toward a low-carbon future to curb the worst effects of climate change, solar energy should unquestionably be one of our strongest allies. But how viable are transparent solar technologies? Could we really generate electricity from windows in offices, homes, car’s sunroof, or even smartphones?
What is 'transparent solar energy'?
Transparent solar is a cutting-edge technology that gathers and uses light energy through windows or any glass surface, regardless of the angle. It has the potential to be a game-changer in terms of broadening the scope of solar.
In terms of engineering, researchers have created several means of transparent solar technology. Most generally though, the majority of them function more as a transparent solar concentrator, which means they are made to absorb specific UV and infrared light wavelengths that aren't visible to the naked eye and transform them into energy capable of powering electronics.
This technology is also called photovoltaic glass, and it's manufactured to provide a ranging level of transparency. In 2020, scientists in the US and Europe have achieved 100 percent transparency for solar glass, bringing us one step closer to the goal of a sustainable future that does not rely on the grid of the fossil fuel industry.
The future of high-tech windows
Transparent solar technologies are already popping up around the world. In Copenhagen, the international school's design utilizes 12,000 hued but clear solar panels all over the building, producing 200 MWh of energy annually -- that's apparently more than half of the energy the building consumes. To find out more on the topic click here
Source: Interesting Engineering