Transparent solar panels could soon turn windows into energy harvesters
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“One way solar could soon become more widely used would be to integrate solar panels onto a wider array of commonplace materials and technologies without inconveniencing the ways we currently use those things today. “
Even though over two-thirds of Americans feel the government should do more to protect against climate change, most are unwilling - sometimes defiant - to change their collective energy routines drastically due to inconvenience. Some rooted in practical issues (i.e - not enough EV power stations, bad locations for alternative energies, general power supplies), others…not so much.
If achieved, energy harvesting devices could be discreetly placed on top of windows, display screens, or even human skin
However, a team of researchers in Japan have now made promising steps toward solving this transparency issue
The process is based on a conductive material called Indium Tin Oxide (ITO), which is both transparent and colorless.
ITO is one of the most widely used transparent conducting oxides because of its electrical conductivity and optical transparency, the ease with which it can be deposited as a thin film, and its chemical resistance to moisture.
(Completely unrelated and 99.9% different, but this reminds me of newer bulletproof glass technologies. The .1% being that they’re both clear.)
With their manufacturing approach, Kato’s team made the device over 1,000 times more effective at converting incoming light into electrical energy than existing ITO-based solar cells.
The team’s choice of materials was far more transparent than previous designs: allowing some 79% of incoming light to pass straight through.
If the material becomes more commercially viable in the future, Kato’s team believes it could one day be integrated into phones and other everyday electronics.
(for now, I guess I’ll just have to make do with one of these useful portable solar chargers 🤷♂️…🙃)
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Photography, Philosophy, and Phonics. A dash of Philanthropy for flavor.
Tech got us here, tech can *help* get us out…
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