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Last summer, researchers from the University of Michigan said they have taken on a daunting challenge: to create completely transparent... and functional solar panels! A truly revolutionary project in the field of solar energy. Operating principle, operational perspectives and current limits, we answer all the questions raised by these solar panels of the future!

Transparent solar panels: the revolution of the future?

Transparent solar panels: the revolution of the future?

Transparent solar panels: how is it possible?

The solar panels of the future operate exactly on the same principle as conventional photovoltaic panels: they absorb sunlight and turn it into energy.

But the researchers who worked on the solar panels of the future had the idea of ​​placing organic molecules that attracted light onto glass panels. Once absorbed, the light is redirected towards the edges of the panel, on photovoltaic cells which will convert it into electricity. The panel can stay 100% transparent!

Solar panels of the future: more and more perspectives!

Most studies say that transparent solar panels are a real revolution in the field of solar energy. Words that can easily be understood: solar panels that are no longer opaque but transparent, it opens a field of possibilities extremely broad.

In the house, we could turn our windows and windows into electricity generators! And not only in the house: in any kind of building, provided it is sunny.

And the prospects offered by solar panels of the future do not stop there: they could even be used on the windshield of a car to recharge its batteries. Or even on the screens of our smartphones and tablets: no need to wait to be at home to recharge your phone, our gadgets will recharge naturally, thanks to their screen!

The strengths of solar panels of the future are not limited to the many uses that could be made of them: they also have the advantage of being more easily produced, and especially to be cheaper to produce than the current photovoltaic panels.

Transparent solar panels: improvements to bring issue yield

If this project is so great, why the solar panels of the future are not not yet marketed? Simply because for the moment, transparent solar panels offer a low efficiency: 1% only light is converted into electricity. A much lower yield than the photovoltaic solar panels of the present!

Of course, researchers are working hard to improve this performance, reaching 5% in the short term. That's 2% less than amorphous photovoltaic panels!

Video Instruction: Transparent Solar Panels | Michigan State University