The Future of Solar Panels
There are many things that are still to occur in solar power technology- not just the transparent solar panel. For example, solar panels are still not cheap enough to be a source of power for many households. This cost factor is a major reason why solar panels are not yet as used as they should be. Additionally, the panels can still be more efficient. Improved efficiency would get more people to buy solar panels, as they would produce more power.
Another change that could occur is solar panels that provide other functions. The ability to make a roof which is a giant solar panel would completely change the solar panel business. These solar panels would be more cost efficient, as they would be providing two functions in one. Also, it would be much more aesthetically pleasing to have a uniform roof made of solar panels, rather than having a few panels dotting the roof of a home.
Transparent solar panels would provide two functions in one. Firstly, they would be solar panels. Secondly, they could also be windows- which would make them much more practical and less of an eye sore than usual solar panels.
Transparent Solar Panel
The problem with creating a transparent solar panel is that solar panels absorb light. For a material to be transparent, the light has to pass through. However, in 2014, researchers at Michigan State University created a glass-like solar panel. It works by absorbing the solar rays we can't see, while letting the rays we can see go through. The potential for this solar panel is huge. It could be used as a window or as a smartphone screen. Thus, this technology could enable us to use solar panels to charge our phones. This would be revolutionary. As a window, it would mean that every building could have solar panels without owners worrying about it looking ‘ugly'. As a screen for any sort of device, it would be an environmentally friendly way of charging.
Unfortunately, transparent solar panels are not freely available yet. However, transparent solar panels will revolutionize the solar power industry.