A group of researchers from UCLA and the UCSB have worked together to create yet another promising form of solar technology: transparent solar panels that are clear enough to be used as power-generating windows for your house.
These new solar panels would solely draw from the infrared spectrum of the sun’s rays. At nearly 70 percent transparency, visible light can pass through, making it a feasible solution for homes and office buildings looking to maximize their efficiency.
The idea of a transparent solar panel isn’t new, but researchers in the past have struggled with balancing efficiency and transparency. That’s why the UCLA/UCSB concept is so exciting: the “special recipe” the team developed was able to reach a 4 percent power-conversion efficiency rate.
Interest in solar technology seems to be at an all-time high, leading scientists and researchers to come up with some promising new concepts. Some solar innovations have targeted the interest in dual purpose solar cells and panels–like solar paint or roof shingles for buildings. The concept of “absolute black” silicon solar panels has generated a lot of interest as well.