08.03.2021

Road to invisible solar panels

Imagine that one day the window of your room converts the morning sunlight into energy. Imagine that you accidentally leave your phone on the porch, and by the evening it charges up completely. Imagine that you can charge your e-car while waiting at the red light. Your imagination might come true soon.

In the past few years solar power systems have become more efficient and sustainable. Unfortunately, the panels still occupy a lot of space and don’t let the sunlight through. However, Professor Joodong Kim and his team from the Korean Incheon National University have recently had a huge breakthrough in the field. They introduced the first fully transparent solar cell. The idea has been around for a while but translating it into practice is a crucial new finding.

The solar cell was composed of a glass substrate and a metal oxide electrode, on top of which they deposited two thin layers of semiconductors: titanium dioxide (TiO2) which absorbs UV light while letting through most of the visible light range, and nickel oxide (NiO), another semiconductor known to have high optical transparency.

The invention can bring us closer to welcoming transparent solar cells into our everyday lives. Who knows? As fast as technology evolves, the greenhouse in your garden might also become a power plant soon.

Source: Science Daily

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