Researchers prep window that works as solar cell

by Paul Buckley, EE Times Europe , TechOnline India - July 21, 2010

Researchers at New Energy Technologies Inc., developing the company‘s proprietary SolarWindow technology, are claiming scientific and technical breakthroughs and plan to unveil a working prototype of the world's first-ever glass window capable of generating electricity in a matter of weeks.

Until now, solar panels have remained opaque, with the prospect of creating a see-thru glass window capable of generating electricity limited by the use of metals and various expensive processes which block visibility and prevent light from passing through glass surfaces.

New Energy's ability to generate electricity on see-thru glass is made possible by making use of the world's smallest working organic solar cells, developed by Dr. Xiaomei Jiang at the University of South Florida. Unlike conventional solar systems, New Energy's solar cells generate electricity from both natural and artificial light sources, outperforming today's commercial solar and thin-film technologies by as much as 10-fold.

The University of South Florida Research Foundation has licensed Dr. Xiaomei Jiang's groundbreaking discovery and important commercial processes and applications to New Energy Solar Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of New Energy Technologies, Inc.

"It's very exciting to see that our ongoing research has led to several significant breakthroughs with transparency and the production of electricity on see-thru glass," explained Mr. Meetesh V. Patel, President and CEO of New Energy Technologies, Inc. "For the first time ever, these advances have allowed us to develop an early-scale working prototype of the technology, which I very much look forward to unveiling in the upcoming weeks."

In recent months, numerous technical milestones have been surpassed by researchers developing New Energy's see-thru SolarWindow coatings, including: The use of the world's smallest functional solar cells, measuring less than 1/4 the size of a grain of rice, and shown to successfully produce electricity in a published peer-reviewed study in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy of the American Institute of Physics.

Importantly, these cells generate electricity from both natural and artificial light sources, outperforming today's commercial solar and thin-film technologies by as much as 10-fold;

Development of a novel, patent-pending process to spray SolarWindow coatings onto see-thru glass using commercially available technologies;

The ability to spray SolarWindow coatings onto glass at room temperature, eliminating expensive high-temperature or high-vacuum production methods commonly used by current solar manufacturers.

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