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Solar windows could meet ‘nearly all’ of America’s electricity demand

Up to seven billion square metres of glass surface in the United States could be used to generate electricity

Transparent panels can be used as windows while they generate electricity Michigan State University
Solar cell technology could soon tap into the massive energy potential of windows and other transparent objects, new research has shown.

Scientists have been working on transparent solar panels which could be used as windows in cars or homes at the same time as generating electricity.

“Highly transparent solar cells represent the wave of the future for new solar applications”, said Richard Lunt, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Michigan State University.

"We analysed their potential and show that by harvesting only invisible light, these devices can provide a similar electricity-generation potential as rooftop solar while providing additional functionality to enhance the efficiency of buildings, automobiles and mobile electronics.”

The material is designed to capture just ultraviolet and near-infrared light.

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