Dye-sensitised solar cells could be used to replace glass in windows such as these (Saint-Gobain)

Transparent PV panels could replace windows to power buildings, study says

27 November 2017 | By Joe Quirke 1 Comment

Jacqui Cole (Argonne National Laboratory)

A study has predicted that in the future buildings may come equipped with windows that can generate electricity.

A team led by Jacqui Cole, a materials scientist based at the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, found that transparent dye-sensitised solar cells could be used to replace glass in windows.

The cells used by Cole’s team recently achieved a record power-conversion efficiency of 14.3%.

The team’s findings, published in the Nanoscale scientific journal, say the study would enable cities to move closer to the goal of being sustainable.

The dyes “promise cheaper, more environment-friendly synthetic routes and greater molecular design flexibility than their metal-containing counterparts”.

Cole, said: “We just need a modest boost in performance to make these solar cells competitive … and manufacturing dye-sensitized solar cells is very cheap relative to other solar cell technologies.” 

Researchers from the University of Cambridge, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory worked on the project. 

Top image: Dye-sensitised solar cells could be used to replace glass in windows such as these (Saint-Gobain)

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