Solar Cells Bright with Promise for Solar Windows

Transparent solar cells have long been sought after, for an obvious reason–most buildings already have transparent solar energy collectors called windows, and it would be great to be able to turn all that sunshine into electricity.  At a recent solar expo in Tokyo, a corporation called Kyosemi unveiled a promising technology for solar windows: the Sphelar solar cell.

According to Gizmag, Sphelar cells are solidified 1.8 mm diameter silicon drops that are highly transparent, capable of absorbing light from any direction or angle. This is good news in terms of their solar window potential because glass collects light on both sides (another advantage to rooftop arrays) which promises to make Sphelar cells embedded in window glass highly efficient in absorbing sunlight. Equally as cool is the fact that these cells can be embedded into flexible surfaces. (How about a solar-harvesting glass sculpture?)

Sphelar_Solar_Cells

image via Gizmag

As usual, the Google translation of the Japanese website leaves a lot to the imagination. But from what we can gather, Kyosemi is working on developing Sphelar modules that combine production efficiency and aesthetic design. They also see other uses for these tiny, transparent solar cells, too–powering smart building sensors, for instance.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.