Solar cells that are transparent enough to be used to tint windows on buildings or cars, have been developed by U.S researchers.
Conventional solar cells are bulky and rigid but lightweight cells are usually far less efficient. However, a new method of making the silicon-based devices could create thin, flexible cells without any trade-offs.
Brittle wafers of silicon are sliced into ultra-thin pieces and carefully ‘printed’ onto a malleable surface. The cells are so flexible they can be rolled around a pencil.
‘You can make (the solar cells) in the form of a gray film that could be added to architectural glass,’ said lead researcher John Rogers of the University of Illinois.
‘It opens up spaces on the fronts of buildings as opportunities for solar energy.’
The new technology could be used on car windows, generating enough electricity to power the GPS or air conditioning. – dailymail