Solar windows with ultra-thin layers of liquid coatings could harness 50 times more energy than regular PVs

For nearly two decades, in response to global warming, numerous companies, research institutes, and federal agencies have been quietly developing and testing innovative ways to efficiently reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  

According to a June report by GTM Research, a division of Greentech Media, which provides market analysis, the cumulative global market for solar electricity is expected to triple by 2020 to almost 700 gigawatts. It predicts demand will be almost entirely market-based by 2020, as compared to 2012 when almost all demand was based on direct incentives.   

More and more research institutes and corporates are harping on cheaper solar energy by inventing amazing technologies. An American solar firm has launched a new liquid technology that turns regular windows into solar panels which could be up to 50 times more productive than regular roof-based photovoltaics.  

Image credit: SolarWindow Technologies, Inc  

The solar windows, designed for skyscrapers, are created by applying ultra-thin layers of liquid coatings onto glass and flexible plastics. These liquid coatings produce ultra-small solar cells and form groups called ‘arrays’.   

Image source: Edie  

Solar windows are primarily organic, made from carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen. The different layers in these organic photovoltaics allow for energy collection and coatings giving the panels and transparent look.   

Solar Window Technologies revealed its innovation via a webinar, with a video demonstrating the windows collecting electricity, which was then used to charge a monitor. With standard rooftop photovoltaics on a skyscraper generating 87,000 KWh a year, the company believes that a 50-story building with solar windows can create 1.3GWh – enough energy to power 130 homes for a year. The company says its solar windows can also harness energy from artificial light.   

Solar Window Technologies’ principal scientist Dr. Scott Hammond said: “Whether crystalline silicon or inorganic thin film, all conventional solar panels are inherently opaque and thus impossible to see through. In contrast, organic photovoltaics from Solar Windows is so incredibly thin that it lets light through. (Source: Edie)   

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