Elizabeth, this is a great way to harvest energy. If the cost of the process is not unfavorable, then it could indeed be a revolution. This type of process could be used to retrofit existing buildings fairly easily, as well as being applied to new construction. With more efficient lighting and computing equipment I could see buildings using this energy primarily. With good storage technology, it would easily pay for itself.
Nice share Liz. It's really astonishing to see the developments being done in Solar Energy as the already present technology is very costly for the consumers. The only thing that worries me about these cells is the stability. Even if they are cheaper than the already present PVs, will they be able to remain stable for a longer period of time with minimum degradation?
"Oxford University physicist Henry Snaith -- is using a material called perovskite to develop thin-film solar cells that can be printed directly onto glass to be used as semi-transparent, solar-energy harvesting material in large buildings"
Elizabeth, I think rather than pasting these films over glass, it's better to be pasted over the outside walls of big buildings. so large areas can be covered and it's a cost effective solution too.
"With designers using more and more glass in buildings, this could be a great technology, as long as the price is good."
Technochip, using more glasses for buildings are not ecco friendly because glasses can despite more heat. Inorder to maintain the normal room temperature, AC has to be work more. So instead of that, if we are able to stick these films over wall, it's becomes more economical.
Thanks, Daniyal, and yes, you bring up an excellent point, given the fact that the windows will be relied upon for electricity for these buildings. I suppose it will be hard to fully test stability and degradation but hopefully this is top of mind for developers of this type of technology. I think only over the long-term can it be seen how long they will last. But of course I assume they can be replaced as they wear out.
I agree with you, Lou, I think this is a brilliant step forward for solar and I am really interested to see how the early adopters fare. As one commenter pointed out there is a slight concern about possible degradation over time, but as I pointed out (and you mention), the glass could be replaced when that happens. The cost just has to be right, as you also mention.
Interesting point, Mydesign. I am not sure how that would work or if it would work, but I see what you mean about the glass in buildings causing more heat to enter. But I think the glass will not be completely transparent and therefore not allow as much sunlight into the building as to make it so hot; I think it actually will absorb it and turn it into energy first. I could be wrong, but I am sure the developers thought about this.
There is an americian company that has been working on clear glass solar cells for the past few years. It is New Energy Technologies,Inc. Go to http://www.newenergytechnologiesinc.com/ for more information on them.
Elizabeth, the idea of replacing windows in tall, large office buildings is not at all far fetched. MyDesign makes a point about glass buildings. Actually, it can be very efficient, and I do not think we will see the practice going away. It has more to do with construction methods and costs. The good thing is that with proper materials and systems these buildings can be made more energy efficient, much more. By making changes in the windows the Willis Tower (nee Sears Tower) save up to 60% in heating and cooling energy. If they had these solar windows, they could do that and generate electricity for lighting (whcih they have also improved) and IT.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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