Solar technology advancements are leading to thinner, more efficient and cheaper solar panels. One of the most exciting developments may be invisible solar cells. Applied to windows, the building integrated photovoltaic technology allows for see through solar power.
Just think – no bulky solar panels installed on the rooftop! Solar windows may have a clear advantage over less aesthetically pleasing alternatives.
Invisible solar cells are still in development stages, but are showing great promise for the future. Along with flexible solar cells that can be applied to a wide variety of surfaces, scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have been working on transparent solar cells. These modules can be fixed to window panes, blending seamlessly into building facades.
While the efficiency of invisible solar cells is not yet to the level of traditional PV panels, the technology is so much less expensive than the alternative (as well as less visually intrusive) that these benefits outweigh the drawbacks of the developing solar technology.