New transparent solar cells will solve all of our problems
Crank up the AC! Leave the hair dryer running all day! Energy crisis solved! Sort of! Not really!
There are a lot of people excited, however, over the development of a new type of transparent solar panel that could be used as a window. In other words, you look out your window in your house, confident in the knowledge that the glass is helping power your house. And the sun never goes out (until millions of years from now when it does and life as we know it ceases and the windows don’t work quite as well). UCLA researchers say the panels they’ve produced could be manufactured in large numbers and at low cost.
It’s not the first time this has been attempted, says TG Daily:
Previously, attempts at transparent or semitransparent PSCs have tended to be either not transparent enough, or comparatively inefficient. But, says the team, this is because their makers weren’t using suitable polymeric PV materials and efficient transparent conductors.
But the UCLA team has incorporated near-infrared light-sensitive polymer and used silver nanowire composite films as the top transparent electrode. The polymer, they say, absorbs more near-infrared light but is less sensitive to visible light, balancing solar cell performance and transparency at visible wavelengths.
Got all that? ME NEITHER. But hooray panels to power our houses!
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.