Solar energy, as an environmentally friendly renewable resource, is attracting more and more attention. But now people often collect solar energy via solar panels, and it requires putting solar panels in place to absorb sunlight, which is very inconvenient. Recently, the researchers in American Universities developed a "solar glass", which is transparent and colorless, and can convert sunlight into solar energy and generate power for buildings, so it gets a double advantage.
Researchers of Department of Chemical Engineering in Michigan State University have been committed to the development of transparent glass for many years, trying to use materials of plastic kind to develop solar cells, with a view to generate energy without generating a lot of heat in the process, but they had no significant breakthrough, as the glass produced by them was not only colored, but had low power output.
The research has achieved breakthroughs recently. Researchers have developed an organic molecule that can absorb ultraviolet and infrared light waves of sunlight. After emitting light and heat, infrared light waves generate energy and transfer to the glass edge, and then the energy is converted into electricity by solar cells mounted aside. The material used for the glass production, though absorbing sunlight, is not within human eyes’ visible spectrum, so it can be transparent and colorless, and it can be used as window and phone screen.
Project researchers have high expectations on this discovery. Assistant Professor of the Department Richard Lunt pointed out that the technology can reduce the solar energy’s impact on human life, and develop greater development space. At present, the material’s energy conversion ability is still to be improved, as it can only convert 1% of the energy, but it is expected to increase to 5% in the future.