One of the most promising new technologies in building-integrated photovoltaics may be see-through solar film for windows.
New Energy Technologies announced yesterday that its researchers developed a new, patent-pending process for spray on solar cells. When applied to glass, the innovation transforms it into a “Solarwindow,” providing a unique way to tap into solar energy and save costs.
The president and CEO of New Energy Technologies commented:
“The ability to spray solar coatings directly onto glass follows on the heels of our recent breakthrough which replaced visibility-blocking metal with environmentally-friendly see-thru compounds, and marks an important advance in the development of our see-thru glass windows capable of generating electricity.”
Can you imagine generating solar electricity with the windows on your home or building? Dye-sensitized solar cells make it happen!
The SolarWindow developed by New Energy Technologies would be available for use by the nearly 5 million commercial buildings and 80 million single family homes in America. The company states that solar coatings would be sprayed directly onto its SolarWindow and would not block views or sunlight from passing through, unlike other solar film.
New Energy’s researchers developed a way to eliminate metal from its spray-on solar film technology. When present, metal is opaque, blocks visibility and prevents light from passing through the glass. It is not easy to remove metal from solar film, however, given that it acts as the negative “polar contact,” which aids in collecting the generated electricity.
At New Energy, scientists replaced the metal negative polar contact with transparent, more environmentally-friendly compounds.
The spray-on solar cells used by New Energy are ultra small and ultra-thin: only 1/1000th of the thickness of a human hair. When combined with the transparent negative polar contact materials, the result is a see-through photovoltaic application.
Transparency is the key to effective, marketable solar windows! With the new technology, commercial and residential property owners can soon enjoy relatively low-cost, yet effective solar electricity generation.
Tags: building integrated photovoltaics, dye-sensitized solar cells, generating solar electricity, new energy technologies, see-through solar film, solar film windows, solar window, spray on solar cells