In 2004, a few researchers from Michigan State University managed to develop a fully transparent solar concentrator. This beauty could turn any regular window or any sheet of glass into a photovoltaic solar cell. Now we know what you’re thinking, yeah we saw this kind of thing before, but this time it’s different, because this time it’s the first time the glass is really transparent, you can actually see it from the photos across this article, looks just like regular glass. According to Richard Lunt, who led the research team at that time, this new transparent solar panel can be deployed in almost every structure or device that has large areas of glass, tall buildings, mobile devices, cars and many other possibilities.
“It opens a lot of area to deploy solar energy in a non-intrusive way,” Lunt says, “It can be used on tall buildings with lots of windows or any kind of mobile device that demands high aesthetic quality like a phone or e-reader. Ultimately we want to make solar harvesting surfaces that you do not even know are there.”
The organic salts absorb UV and infrared, and emit infrared — processes that occur outside of the visible spectrum, so that it appears transparent.