Transparent Solar Panels
An amazing technology has recently been invented at Michigan State University: transparent solar panels. This new technique is groundbreaking because its translucency is so complete that these solar cells could be used like traditional window glass. Thanks to this ground-breaking quality, TLSC (transparent luminescent solar concentrator) has the potential to be deployed in many other devices that have glass like components (mobile phones, tablets, cars, solar water heaters etc.).
The key element in keeping TLSC transparent is the presence of organic salts which convert ultraviolet and infrared light into a specific wavelength of infrared. Then this newly created invisible light is captured by thin strips of conventional Photovoltaic Solar Cells at the edge of the sheet. Additionally, the cells are made from plastic, so they are actually safer when breaking than most forms of glass.
TLSC Means Efficiency
TLSC has so far demonstrated an energy conversion efficiency of 1%, but in its current form it could reach up to 5%. Although this is less efficient than non-transparent luminescent concentrators, which have a max of 7% efficiency, it’s a fair performance for the transparent series considering its unique properties and recent discovery. While the efficiency may currently be low, take into account the total surface area of an office building that is occupied by windows. Glass buildings could be a constant source of energy without having to sacrifice aesthetics for the people inside or out. Same goes for your portable devices! Your battery could potentially last much longer with a TLSC style shell that charges whenever it is out of your pocket.
Glasshouse Products for Your Custom Glasswork Needs
Although TLSC products are in all likelihood quite a way from being mass produced, you can visit glasshouseproducts.com or in our stores in Dallas and Austin, TX for any of your traditional glass needs. You will find not only the top quality of glass in the market, but also a variety of choices for mirrors, shower doors, cast glass, sandblasting and architectural glass.