Norwegian company EnSol AS in collaboration with researchers at the University of Leicester are working to develop a new type of solar cell material that can be coated as a thin film onto window glass, so that windows in buildings can generate electricity on a large scale.
“The material has been designed by EnSol AS and is based on nano-particles that can be synthesised in Leicester. The work is important since the solar cells are based on a new operating principle. Obviously some light has to be absorbed in order to generate power but the windows would just have a slight tinting.” said Prof Binns, of Leicester University
Unlike other conventional devices, the new thin film could become cheaper due to its property of being able to be coated onto large areas. According to the company, it can also be used on the roofs of vehicles to charge batteries. Researchers claim the new transparent solar cell technology could be available within five years.
“The basic cell concept has been demonstrated, and it will be the objective of this research and development project to systematically refine this PV cell technology to achieve a cell efficiency of 20% or greater,” said a spokesperson for EnSol AS.