A Japanese company named Henan Succeed New Energy Material Co Ltd has just presented an “ultra-transparent glass”, at the 4th International Photovoltaic Power Generation Conference and Exhibition, which took place in Shanghai last week.
Their newly-invented treated glass features a transmittance of at least 97 percent, which could be good for using in solar panels. The company says that the use of their glass could enhance the efficiency of solar cells by 2 to 3 percent.
The ultra-transparent glass is actually a treated glass: they applied a 100nm-thick anti-glare (AR) film, made of silicon oxide (SiO2). The process itself consists of dissolving a powder of SiO2 (measuring just a few nanometers) in a solvent and applying it to the glass. The resulted material was heated to 700 degrees Celsius.
Regular glass reflects about 4 percent of the incident light at the front and back surfaces. The ultra-transparent glass only reflects 0.5 to 1.5 percent, hence the transmittance figure: 91 to 97 percent, or even more. The glass works best for wavelengths of 400 to 500 nm, which covers most of the visible spectrum. In that range the transmittance grows up to 99%.
Anti-reflexive glass treatments have already been invented, but this one is notable because of the high figures it promises. A growth of 3 percent in solar conversion efficiency is something worth noticing.