Solar cells with 30-year lifetimes for power-generating windows
Source: Solar Daily
A new transparency-friendly solar cell design could marry high efficiencies with 30-year estimated lifetimes, research led by the University of Michigan has shown. It may pave the way for windows that also provide solar power.
"Solar energy is about the cheapest form of energy that mankind has ever produced since the industrial revolution," said Stephen Forrest, the Peter A. Franken Distinguished University Professor of Electrical Engineering, who led the research. "With these devices used on windows, your building becomes a power plant."
While silicon remains king for solar panel efficiency, it isn't transparent. For window-friendly solar panels, researchers have been exploring organic-or carbon-based-materials. The challenge for Forrest's team was how to prevent very efficient organic light-converting materials from degrading quickly during use.