Many people will feel that the possibility of having solar panels fitted to their home or business premises that are invisible to the naked eye is most appealing with this subject receiving a lot of press comment of late.
New Energy Technologies, who specialise in researching and developing transparent solar panels and are well known as a pioneer within this particular sector, have just announced a breakthrough in the process for manufacturing almost invisible solar cells. This could result in solar energy technology being produced more efficiently and invisible solar cells being able to be used on almost any surface including windows that would allow the harvesting of solar energy.
Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have been assisting New Energy Technologies resulting in the cost of materials being reduced in the production process. In addition, a new technique has been adopted as a result of which the company expects to see an increase in the efficiency of the solar cells produced by them. This form of alternative energy expects to receive more support and attention as a result of solar energy technology having greater efficiency.
In the past, New Energy Technologies were only able to use high temperature vacuum disposition that was felt to be both time consuming and costly as it was necessary for the company to manufacture the film in a vacuum environment that was then used in its solar panels having to layer the film a molecule at a time. The new process operates at a lower temperature than previous methods of manufacturing and enables the company to produce more efficient solar panels using both sheet to sheet and roll-to-roll manufacturing.
It is the opinion of New Energy Technology that it is a little nearer to the mass production of invisible solar cells and that invisible solar cells may be used as a replacement for windows in houses and vehicles. This would mean that any generated energy could be used to provide the power for numerous electrical applications.
The solar windows that are completely see through have solar cells that are super-thin layered onto the glass. Each cell, that is formed in a network, is connected by almost invisible wires but with transparent mechanisms.
Apparently New Energy Technology is also hoping that the shelf life of its solar panels will improve as a result of this breakthrough that is excellent news for customers.
John Cokklin President and CEO of New Energy Technology said: “Over the past few months, our researchers have unveiled a virtually invisible conductive wiring system, which collects and transports electricity on SolarWindow!” prototypes and have fabricated a large area working module, which is more than 4-times larger than previous organic photovoltaic devices fabricated at NREL. Earlier, we developed our first-ever working SolarWindow!” prototype using a faster, rapid scale-up process for applying solution-based coatings.
Together, these achievements have moved us closer to our manufacturing, scale-up, durability, and power production goals – all important factors to advancing our SolarWindow!” technology towards commercial launch”.