Transparent solar panels replace windows

The US-based Ubiquitous Energy installed 100 square feet of transparent solar glass above an entryway of a Michigan State University campus building.

The installation marks the first deployment of transparent solar panels at any building in the world. It should generate enough electricity to light up the building’s atrium.

Just like traditional solar panels, the transparent panels too convert sunlight into electricity. However, the transparent solar panels are unique in that they let visible light pass through while picking up just the invisible wavelengths of sunlight in the ultraviolet and the near-infrared ranges. The panels are visibly indistinguishable from traditional windows.

If all goes according to plan, all greenhouses will double as solar farms one day. Likewise, every surface currently covered by solar farms could soon double as productive agricultural land.

Not only will there be enough light under the panels to grow vegetables and other crops. The transparent solar panels will also reduce evaporation and conserve water while providing clean energy, at the same time.

What other applications do you see for see-through solar panels? How significant is this development? Please let us know in the comments below.

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