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Ubiquitous Energy’s Transparent Solar Cells Just a Matter of Time

Transparent Solar Panels 300x200 Ubiquitous Energys Transparent Solar Cells Just a Matter of TimeNew startup Ubiquitous Energy is developing a host of technologies that enable seamless deployment of light-harvesting functionality. The company aims to develop affordable, transparent coatings and films that have the ability to harvest light energy when used on windows or screens of tablet devices or e-readers.

Ubiquitous Energy created photovoltaics that take up light to collect wavelengths in the ultraviolet and infrared portion of the spectrum while simultaneously allowing visible light go through.

In sharp contrast, traditional solar cells cannot be completely transparent because they collect light in ultraviolet and visible regions.

Still in the R&D phase, Ubiquitous Energy is trying to improve the efficiency of its solar cells and is exploring ways to collect more light. One solution may involve optimizing the design of semiconductor materials. Molecular dyes are in current materials, and these have selective absorption peaks in the ultraviolet and near-infrared parts of the spectrum. Another solution may involve nanoscale engineering and tweaking optical interference within the device to improve light absorption.

President and CTO of Ubiquitous Energy, Miles Barr, says the technology isn’t that different than the coating used on modern windows for insulation or solar control. In this case, the organically layered solar cells are deposited individually on top of a glass or film. This would allow for easy integration into the industrial processing arena and may one day cover everything from tablets to skyscrapers.

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About the author

Leigh is a Senior Technical Communicator working in the energy sector in Dallas, Texas. Prior to her work in the energy industry, Leigh spent years specializing in life saving engineering projects for the US Department of Defense. In her spare time, Leigh pursues her passions of environmental awareness, vegan baking, dog rescue, and defending the place of art, literature, and music in a world that values science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.


Richard Fenneman
Richard Fenneman

This is an interesting post Leigh. Solar energy technology is starting to expand and become more and more exciting. The solar nanotechnology is especially interesting. Thin films that incorporate nanotechnologies could really expand the usage of solar energy with greater efficiencies.