Windows to Energy Generation

May 6, 2008 · by DesignIntelligence

Australian researchers say that people could look at the world through rose-tinted windows while reducing their carbon emissions by 50 percent thanks to new solar cell glass.

Professor John Bell of Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, worked with Canberra-based company Dyesol to develop transparent solar cells that act as both windows and energy generators in houses or commercial buildings. He said the solar cell glass would make a significant difference in energy costs and could even generate excess energy that could be stored or sold.

"The transparent solar cells have a faint reddish hue but are completely see-through," Bell said. "The solar cells contain titanium dioxide coated in a dye that increases light absorption. The glass captures solar energy which can be used to power the house but can also reduce overheating of the house, reducing the need for cooling."

Bell said it would be possible to build houses made entirely of the transparent solar cells. He expects the glass to be on the market in a few years.

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