Power generating windows infopost

In 2014, researchers at the University of Michigan they created the first solar panels that are 100% transparent to the human eye, an innovation designed both to transform buildings and skyscrapers into power plants, and to self-supply smartphones and tablets through their screens. The problem they presented for marketing was their low conversion efficiency (1%) compared to traditional solar panels (15%). But research and development to turn our buildings into electricity generators – beyond the potential of installing traditional panels on the roof – continues in both academia and business.

A case in point is the Cambridge-based company Polysolar, whose latest development is transparent solar panels with an efficiency of conversion of up to 12 and 15% – not completely transparent, but tinted gray – for windows, conservatories and covered terraces. As reported by Wired, the company has already installed these panels, 7 millimeters thick and 24 kilos in weight, in a covering of the Barbican Centre of London, at two bus stops in Canary Wharf, as well as at two petrol stations. Unlike traditional solar panels, which must be pointed directly at the sun, transparent panels can be used on walls, as they are able to collect non-directional ambient light, says Polysolar CEO Joanna Slota-Newson. The panels are sold for £250 per m2 (€315).