Remember what we’ve said about see-through solar cells on windows and how they could become the future of the industry? Well, it’s actually moving in the right direction, with more good things coming our way. For example, New Energy Technologies Inc has improved its manufacturing technique by making vacuum deposition at low temperatures instead of high ones.
Let’s take it back from the beginning! The technology works with super-thin solar cells, neatly layered onto glass during a process of high-temperature vacuum deposition. The cells then get disposed in a network, connected through almost invisible wires. When electrons are detached from the atoms, they start moving around and produce an electric potential difference. It’s this energy in particular that is being used to produce electricity.
So this is the trick: by pulling it through at low temperatures, it takes less time and it enables the company to go ahead with both roll-to-roll and sheet-to-sheet manufacturing. In the end, it all translates into smaller costs and same efficiency, a go-ahead for the mass production. The company hopes to see 85 million US commercial and residential buildings use its technology in the near future.
New energy has been developing this in collaboration with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and is very excited about the up-and-coming commercial launch, but we’re sure the product will sell off the shelf almost immediately after – it’s that good!