Solar panels are usually big, black ugly things sitting on rooftops and making your house look geekily hi-tech. Chin Hua, a Chinese company, exposed one type of solar panel that, if applied to existing or future buildings, will decrease their carbon footprint by producing energy and will also play the role of window blinds.
Engadget China reports seeing one of these solar-powered windows at Taipei’s International Optoelectronic Week exhibition. Efficiency figures aren’t specified, just the 2W power output they provide (such as the window pictured above). The units’ transparency can be modified.
Bigger variants of the window can harvest up to 6.7W, probably if their transparency is set to a minimum. It’s not much, but it adds to the building’s presumably existing solar power infrastructure, and they also have that second use, which makes them even more desirable.