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Windows as Solar Electricity Collectors April 10, 2008

Posted by OldGuy in Alternatives, building green, solar.
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One of the most energy inefficient parts of commercial buildings- those massive walls of glass – could soon become the means of powering that same building.

Researchers at the Institute of Sustainable Resources (ISR)  at Queensland (Australia) University of Technology (QUT) have been working with Dyesol (an Australian company) to develop transparent solar cells that act as both windows and energy generators in houses or commercial buildings.

Officials at Dyesol explain that “the solar the panels are constructed in a laminated structure, with the tiles connected and sandwiched between two panes of glass and fully encapsulated in the UV resistant transparent laminating polymer (Solar Wall Panels). … Electrical interface can be typically via a short DC bus to a local area network for distribution or inversion to AC.”

Professor John Bell explained that the solar cells contain titanium dioxide coated in a dye that increases light absorption.

“The transparent solar cells have a faint reddish hue but are completely see-through,” Professor Bell said.  “The glass captures solar energy which can be used to power the house but can also reduce overheating of the house, reducing the need for cooling.”

“As long as a house is designed throughout for energy efficiency, with low-energy appliances it is conceivable it could be self-sustaining in its power requirements using the solar-cell glass,” he said.

sources:  expertguide.com.au and Dyesol web site

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