The next big thing in solar power is windows. After all, there are only so many roofs and deserts in the world – and solar panels that can create energy while fulfilling another function at the same time will always go down better than bulky, expensive technology which must be specially installed for a single purpose.
Last year, we wrote about these transparent solar panels created by Michigan State University, which researchers hope could eventually be used on everything from windows to phone screens. However, at the moment the panels are expensive to produce, and aren’t that efficient – the most efficient solar panels on the market convert 47 per cent of the sunlight’s energy to power, while the Michigan State model only converts around 1 per cent.
Now, though, there’s a new transparent solar panel in development, the SolarWindow, which, according to the US’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, is more efficient than the Michigan State panel, and than many commercial solar panels. From SolarWindow president and CEO, John Conklin:
Based on data from the high-performance modules unveiled by SolarWindow Technologies on March 26, 2014, and the company’s review of prevailing published literature and scientific reports confirmed that SolarWindow™ modules outperform publicized devices of comparable architecture, size, and design by over 53 per cent in terms of power production – a major achievement and new record. The Company’s certified, high-performance module is the most efficient organic photovoltaic (OPV) module ever measured by the National Renewable Energy Lab’s (NREL) Device Performance Measurement Laboratory.