Transparent solar panels could replace your windows.
German startup company Heliatek are testing their flexible, transparent solar panels which could one day be built into houses to act as power-generating windows.
The panels are only able to convert around 8% of available energy into electricity, compared with around 12-17% for traditional solar panels, but the company claims that they are able to make up for that by providing better performance in low light and high heat to provide almost the same energy production overall.
The technology works by depositing a layer of organic molecules on polyester films, in a similar way to how OLED displays are produced.
The company recently started making a small amount of panels on a “proof of concept” production line, and say that within four to five years the cost should come down to around 40 to 50 cents per watt, which will make them competitively priced compared to conventional solar panels. The new technology would also work out cheaper to install in new houses, as opposed to having to install windows as well as conventional solar panels on the roof.