A team of researchers from Michigan State University managed to develop a fully transparent solar panels and what a breakthrough project that is! Imagine to use this instead of standard windows in architecture, automotive industry, electronics and more! Previous attempts to create such a device have been made, but results were never satisfying enough, with low efficiency and poor material quality. Now its finally here! Its a huge step into diversity of green hydrogen developement as using that source of renewables we can easily transfer clear energy into green hydrogen production.
The MSU team developed a transparent luminescent solar concentrator, or TLSC, that can be placed over a window or any other clear surface. The concentrator can harvest solar energy without affecting light transmittance. The technology uses organic molecules which absorb wavelengths of light that are invisible to the human eye, like infrared and ultraviolet light.
“We can tune these materials to pick up just the ultraviolet and the near infrared wavelengths that then ‘glow’ at another wavelength in the infrared” – Richard Lunt, assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science at MSU’s College of Engineering. The captured light is transported to the contour of the panel, where it is converted to electricity with the help of thin strips of photovoltaic solar cells.
This development would make the most out of the buildings facades, since the vertical footprint is often larger than the rooftop one – especially for glass towers. Solar harvesting of Transparent Solar Panels would, thus, become more efficient and aesthetically, without altering the architectural design. Moreover, this technology could be easily integrated in old buildings.
Currently the team is working on improving the energy-producing efficiency, that is of 1 % at the moment. The aim is to reach an efficiency beyond 5%. As aforementioned, if developments work, applications would be countless. Fingers crossed for this amazing project!