Wouldn’t it be awesome if all those windows on high-rise buildings could be used to harvest the sun’s energy for electricity? Of course, it would, and now, thanks to engineers in South Korea, this image could very soon become reality.
The researchers have managed to develop a new method of making solar windows transparent by simply punching extremely small holes – the size of a strand of hair – into crystalline silicon wafers, the most popular type of solar cell in the industry.
Previous versions of similar technologies posed significant limitations in terms of transparency. To overcome this, the researchers found that if the holes in the cells were properly spaced, you can’t see them with the naked eye.
On top of that, the innovation has proved to be impressively efficient for a solar cell that is to be placed vertically. On average, roof solar panels have an efficiency of around 20 percent. The novel solar cell reached an efficiency of 12.2 percent, which the scientists are now planning to pump up to at least 15 percent.
As window space is only rising with buildings getting taller, this novel invention is set to make the most out of it by feeding our energy-hungry skyscrapers with green electricity.