MIT Develops Powerful Solar Concentrator Windows

FILED UNDER: MIT, Technology

MIT researchers have come up with a way of doubling the performance of solar cells through the use of cheap glass windows that collect and concentrate light. The cost is minimal and the dyed glass may even prove to be something of a fashion statement, if not a social statement.

The heart of this technology is the special dye which absorbs sunlight and directs it towards the edges of the glass, working in a similar way to a fiber optic cable. This method may even be achievable in plastics, which could open up a whole world of possibilities for power generation.

The aim is to use cheap materials to do all the harnessing of sunlight and feed it to the expensive solar panels to generate energy. The aim is to reduce the prohibitive expense involved in generating solar energy which currently costs around 20 cents per kilowatt hour. This is several times more than wind, coal or natural gas.

The lead researcher, Marc Baldo, thinks the technology would be easy to manufacture and could see rapid deployment. His colleagues have started a company called Covalent Solar to market their development.

The next time you see a colored window, it may be utilizing this technology. I know I’ll be keeping an eye out.

Sources:
Wired Blog
Via: EcoFriend

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