Michigan State researchers develop fully transparent solar panels

The transparent luminescent solar concentrator device could be used on buildings or mobile devices.

October 27, 2015 |

Buildings could install glass that doubles as solar panels, if a Michigan State research group's innovation catches on.

Windows take in a lot of daylight, right? It’s really the most basic function of a window. So, what if clear glass could harness energy power from the sun, effectively acting as a solar panel?

A Michigan State University research group has developed a fully transparent solar panel, according to Next Nature. Technically called a transparent luminescent solar concentrator (TLSC), the device uses organic salts to internalize wavelengths of light that the human eye cannot see.

While the technology has plenty of theoretical uses, from being installed on tall buildings to powering phones and e-readers, in practice it’s still fairly inefficient. The creators of the panels hope for 10% maximum efficiency, which isn’t too much, but could add up if used over a large surface.


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