Is it weird when it comes to transparent solar panels? Want to know about transparent solar panels cost? Yeah, you got that right.
We are using glass everywhere in our lives, and glass is getting some energy from the sun. Imagine that the energy coming from the sun to the glass is usable.
It is revolutionary.
We can give lots of examples of how we can use this glass, such as self-powered cars, phones, etc. These are what we can think of. Imagine what we can create with these.
Transparent glass is a piece of glass that passes visible light for us while collecting the invisible light, such as ultraviolet lights and near-infrared rays, and transforms into energy.
You may think that this is a revolution since, from now on, we can use these glass pieces in everyday life. This article will learn how they work, their efficiency, potential usage, and their comparison to standard photovoltaic panels that the world already uses.
Transparent Solar Panels Work Principles
Professor Richard Lunt, a chemical engineer at Michigan State University, and his team have found revolutionary technology: transparent solar panels.
Transparent solar panels can understand the light spectrum’s wavelengths and use them depending on whether we can see the light to produce energy.
The transparent panels can capture near-infrared and ultraviolet rays while letting visible light pass thanks to the organic material. The caught the rays that are not visible will travel up and down till the solar cells produce energy.
Efficiency Of Transparent Solar Panels
According to Professor Lunt, the efficiency rate of transparency is approximately 5%, while the most efficient solar panels are getting closer to the convert rate of 23%.
The average convert rate of solar panels that most customers use has a range between 15%-18%. This range refers to the sun rate that is used by the solar panel converted into electricity.
Comparison Of Transparent Solar Panels Vs. Traditional Solar Panels
Although they are less efficient per square foot, they are more efficient in daily life.
Since we can use them almost everywhere, they will be more efficient if we gain a new perspective.
Like skyscrapers, higher buildings can use these solar panels to gain energy, and they can make a profit since they have a lot of space.
We can say that most of the sides of the houses are mostly windows. Although to produce power, using land in the middle of nowhere could be perfect, we can still use that space for other things.
If the whole system is developed to the place where nobody lives, it is a problem to transfer the electricity. A large amount of electricity will be lost when it is translated. So, the efficiency of solar farms might be lower than we thought.
If we are looking with a different perspective, transparent solar panels provide efficiency in some ways.
The most important thing about transparent solar panels is they can be installed anywhere if there is a glass.
Since they have a “see-through” glass option for solar panels, we can see the light to minimize electricity use while producing electricity.
Let us consider a building that is 1,000 feet tall by 50 feet wide by 50 feet deep with a roof space of 50 feet x 50 feet, which means 2,500 feet of space for rooftop solar panels.
On the other hand, this same building has 1,000 feet x 50 feet x 4(for each side), which equals 200,000 square feet, mostly windows. That being said, with this amount of place, much more power will be produced.
If we want to think about it for daily life, a cell phone could use a transparent solar panel to charge outside during the day.
Even though transparent solar lights have an efficiency problem by feet, it can be functional in glass surfaces.
Where Can I Use Transparent Solar Panels?
As mentioned above, transparent solar panels can be most useful if used on commercial buildings. Other places can be used as well, like cellphones and cars that could charge itself outside. Maybe even greenhouses can use transparent solar panels.
In addition to that, did you know that you can use these panels to the place that already exists?
The team of Michigan State developed a transparent luminescent solar concentrator that creates solar energy when placed on a window without interrupting the view.
That being said, it can be replaced into buildings, car windows, cell phones, etc.
Transparent Solar Panels Companies
List of transparent solar panels companies
Sharp introduces a transparent but shaded solar window using dye-sensitized solar cells in 2013. The windows are about 40″ tall by either 28″, 45″, or 55″ wide.
The efficiency of the production is about 6 watts per sq/ft. Sharp has made no further progress since the announcement.
EnergyGlass uses “Patented Inorganic Nano Technology” to develop transparent solar windows with no visible lines or dots. The efficiency of EnergyGlass is between 1-4 watts per hour, but it depends on the time of day
Given the customers’ feedback, the manufacturer claims that users have 100% vision while the energy can be sent to the battery storage.
EnergyGlass may be the furthest along on the list. They offer four different solar windows: a basic laminated version, an insulated version, a double insulated version, and a triple insulated version.
Physee(not yet commercially available)
Phys is a Dutch startup. This startup produces as their terms “PowerWindow”.
Like EnergyGlass, this startup uses the quantum (which is organic) dots catch the unseen light rays. Currently, this starts up jas 300 square feet of powerWindows on a Duch bank by installing only one project.
Ubiquitous energy (not yet commercially available)
It is a startup in Silicon Valley. They are producing a film which is acting as a replacement solar window. The film can be used in a piece of glass and produce energy by catching the invisible light and releasing the visible light.
Named as ClearView, They are still testing this product so it is not commercially available. In their terms, it has a “practical” efficiency rate is 10% which is very good and it is close to PAR. With this rate, they are pretty close to the traditional solar panels.
SolarWindow (not yet commercially available)
They claim that they are producing a liquid PV coating that can be applied to pre-existing windows.
Transparent Solar Panels Cost
Since it is not financially practical to the public, the solar panel cost is not available. The price of these panels is still high compared to other sources of energy. These types of solar panels are still is not a good investment for you to profit.
If we research more, we will see Sharp’s offer, that may be the only information for us to look at. In 2013, they calculated that one square meter (or 11 square feet) would cost about $2000.
To compare correctly, we can take a look at how much a solar panel would cost since we get two functions into one. A standard double-pane window can cost between $150 and $250.
The traditional panel is a 300-watt panel. The cost of this can vary from $200 to $400. In the calculation, we will take the average of this amount, which is $300.
If we get a $300 solar panel and a $250 window, it will cost $550. That panel is also 15 square ft (3′ x 5′) so we don’t need to calculate deeply. This calculation gives us $2000 minus $550, which is approximately $1450.
In addition to that, there is a topic that we didn’t discuss: efficiency. Not only is the price almost four times higher, but also nearly a quarter of efficient.
An average brand 300-watt panel would produce approximately 16-20% efficiency, while the transparent solar window has about 1-5%. In the best-case scenario, there is almost 16 times difference. But hopefully, it can come to the place that we can use.
Although it is costly, the technology is proven for future usage. However, this needs at least some years to be in the solar panel markets. We need to wait some time to use it in public. We will be the ones that will inform you about the new solar systems and power trends for you to use before anybody else.