Tech: Researchers Invent Transparent Solar Panels

Solar panels, usually perceived as large, relatively opaque, and bulky, have now evolved into something completely transparent- essentially like the glass in all our windows. The invention by Michigan State University researchers and engineers may usher in a new era of sustainable energy, as these panels have the potential to be involved in using the windows in buildings to generate their own energy. The idea of transparent solar panels was in itself an oxymoron, as the definition of transparency is that light can pass through; faced with the nearly impossible challenge of creating a transparent photovoltaic cell, the team went for a more creative approach, inventing a transparent luminescent solar concentrator (TLSC), which essentially absorbs wavelengths already visible to the human eye, then projects a glow constructed of converted cells that can be used to transform the infrared light into electricity.

Contributor: Katie Sun

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