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SolarWindow Solar Cell

A collaboration between NREL scientists and the company New Energy Technologies has purportedly developed an electricity-generating, see-through coating that can be sprayed onto windows.

The transparent photovoltaic coating is made up of an electricity-generating polymer produced by way of organic synthesis. What this means in English is that scientists have succeeded in creating a microscopic chain of molecules that have the same properties as solar cells, but since they’re put together through organic (liquid) chemistry they can be applied as a see-through liquid.

Today’s press release highlighted the additional development of what they’re calling the ‘world’s largest-area organic photovoltaic module (OPV)’. At about 170 square centimeters in area, it isn’t all that big, but team scientists are calling it a major step on the road to commercial fabrication. SolarWindow technology won’t be hitting stores anytime soon, but the science behind it seems rock-solid.

The press release begs a number of questions, most of which can be answered by the peer-reviewed studies backing up the team’s research. But seriously, what’s the longevity of a solar film applied to an outside window?

New Energy Technologies is experimenting with high-volume industrial techniques for large-scale application of this new technology. Their intended goal? The windows of the estimated 85 million commercial buildings and homes in the United States. Will it make it out of the lab? We’ll have to wait on that one.

For more technical details, their’s a slough of information on the SolarWindow website, including the peer-reviewed study that discusses the polymer’s composition.

Photo Credit: New Energy Technologies