How long will it be before you windows are acting as energy generators for your home or business?
Currently thin films are already being used to cover windows, however, New Energy Technologies is creating a product whereby tiny see through solar cells (less than a quarter of the size of a grain of rice) can be sprayed onto windows and then organised and connected by virtually invisible wires; the suns energy is then converted into usable clean electricity. These cells make use of natural sunlight as well as the artificial lights found in most offices and school buildings.
Many companies are trying to develop this technology and bring it to the market as well as trying to reduce the production costs involved. Many of the solar cells currently available are slow to manufacture and are made of silicon. These are expensive and brittle which puts a limit on the usability. Unfortunately other more cost effective materials require high temperatures in which to be sprayed on to the glass and can result in far thicker coatings.
Looking to the future architects are hoping that these processes can be used for installation on new commercial buildings and new and replacement windows for existing residential homes. These sprays will also be able to be used on buildings under construction as they can be applied as a flexible film similar to aftermarket window tint films. These sprays will create further different ways to save money at home and the office and if brought to market could help to reduce energy bills in the future.