CAS professor helps make solar windows a reality
A Maryland-based company has announced it will unveil a working prototype of the world’s first-ever glass window capable of generating electricity in the coming weeks.
The prototype, which has the ability to generate electricity on a see-thru glass window, is being made possible through the use of the world’s smallest working organic solar cells, developed by Xiaomei Jiang, a University of South Florida physics professor.
New Energy Technologies, Inc. said its scientific team has made scientific and technical breakthroughs in the development of its proprietary SolarWindow technology. Until now, solar panels have been opaque and don’t allow for light to pass through the glass surfaces.
Unlike conventional solar systems, New Energy’s solar cells generate electricity from both natural and artificial light sources, outperforming today’s commercial solar and thin-film technologies by as much as 10-fold.
“We’re always keen to see innovations in our laboratories turn into meaningful commercial products,” said Valerie McDevitt, assistant vice president for research, Division of Patents and Licensing at USF. “We very much look forward to the commercial development of New Energy’s SolarWindow technology, which, if successful, could literally transform the way in which we view the use of solar energy for our homes, offices and commercial buildings.”
The University of South Florida Research Foundation licensed Jiang’s discoveries, processes and applications to New Energy Solar Corporation, a subsidiary of New Energy Technologies.
“It’s very exciting to see that our ongoing research has led to several significant breakthroughs with transparency and the production of electricity on see-thru glass, said Meetesh V. Patel, president and CEO of New Energy. “For the first time ever, these advances have allowed us to develop an early-scale working prototype of the technology, which I very much look forward to unveiling in the upcoming weeks.”
Recent milestones in the development include:
Use of the world’s smallest functional solar cells, measuring less than a quarter the size of a grain of rice. The cells generate electricity from both natural and artificial light sources.
- Development of a novel, patent-pending process to spray SolarWindow coatings onto see-thru glass using commercially available technologies.
- Ability to spray SolarWindow coatings onto glass at room temperature, eliminating expensive high-temperature of high-vacuum production methods commonly used by current solar manufacturers.
Filed under:Arts and Sciences School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Physics Research