As fossil fuels gradually begin to run out over the next century, it is certain that household fuel bills will become increasingly expensive. As the world looks for alternative power sources, finding viable sources of renewable energy has become more important than ever.
Many homeowners are beginning to look at alternative ways of generating electricity themselves and one of the most popular methods currently is solar power. Opaque solar power panels have become a familiar sight on many homes across the country, but what if the technology existed where glazing itself could be used to generate solar power? A whole range of products across the home, such as windows, doors and conservatories could be adapted to generate their own electricity.
Interestingly, this possibility could soon become a reality. Recently, researchers at Michigan State University managed to create a fully transparent solar cell that has the potential to be fitted across a wide range of glazing in the home. We thought we’d examine the new technology itself and see what implications it could have for bi-fold doors.
Transparent solar panels: the technology
Traditional photovoltaic solar cells created energy by absorbing photons (sunlight) and converting them into electrons (electricity), but cells needed to be opaque to retain the photons. Before, it wasn’t possible to generate electricity from a transparent surface, like glass, but new technology means it may now be possible.