The dream to turn the windows of a building to energy generators is soon to become a reality. Thanks to the invention of solar cells using carbon nanotubes by scientists at the Flinders University, it is now simple to convert window glasses to solar power generators. The new solar cells are transparent so that they won’t obstruct the outside views and natural light and they are flexible so that they can even be woven to windows curtains.
The researchers under Dr. Mark Bissett, a PhD scholar at the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, have developed the carbon nanotubes. The new solar power harvesting technology simply replicates the functioning of photosynthesis, the way plants grab energy from sunlight. The carbon nanotubes are placed in between two sheets of electrically conductive glasses to produce the highly cost effective solar cells, says Mr. Bissett.
It is high time the world should switch over to the more sustainably produced solar technologies like the one from the Flinders University guys. The conventional silicon-based solar cells are not only expensive, but also less attuned to the eco-friendly terms. To produce the silicon solar cells, much energy in form of fuel fossils is used. Finally, they provide only an efficiency of 10 percent. That means even if they work at optimal efficiency it will take several years to get back the energy that they consumed during their production stage.
According to the researchers, the windows glass paintable solar cells are still under development stage. It is not anyway the time to produce them for commercial purposes. It will take around ten years to hit the carbon nanotubes-based solar panels in stores.
The Solar iPad Charging Case from Hammacher Schlemmer