29 Apr 2015 Invisible Cutting Edge Building product
Now this is going to radically change power generation. Perhaps it’s time to sell off those energy shares in your portfolio?
Miles Barr is the man who wants you never to see his product!
The CEO and co-founder of Silicon Valley solar start up, Ubiquitous Energy, is at the cutting edge of transparent photovoltaics.
In short, his company is developing transparent solar cells that one day could completely cover the glass on our major buildings. Our skyscrapers could potentially be fully powered by renewable energy from the sun.
The technology they’re developing is an invisible film that can go on any surface and generate power.
Traditional solar cells we’re used to are opaque and require a lot of space to absorb, harness and distribute as much energy as possible. In congested urban areas this is problematic. This exciting technology could be applied to existing glass surfaces and incorporated into future design. New and separate surfaces would not be required for solar panels as we know them.
The ClearView Power technology could have other applications for example on mobile phones, laptops and tablets. Imagine these devices never running out of charge!
Called a transparent luminescent solar concentrator, the panel uses organic molecules made to absorb invisible wavelengths of light, such as ultraviolet and near infrared light. The material moves this unseen light to the edges of the panel, where strips of photovoltaic solar cells pick it up and convert it to electricity.
As they are completely see through these cells can be easily applied to windows. One of the downsides is a drop in power efficiency but this would be more than made up for by the huge area available on large buildings.
Barr has been included on MIT Technology Review’s annual List of Innovators under 35 for his work in the field of energy.
“Our vision was really that we want to integrate solar technology into the products and surfaces that we interact with each day,” he told Bloomberg Business.
“The idea of transparency has risen to the top as something that seems to have a lot of value for a wide range of applications.
“Currently there’s a huge amount of surface area on the vertical spaces of buildings that is unused for energy harvesting.”
Clean solar power is definitely the future of energy and the application of this technology is exciting for those planning greener, cleaner cities.
It would be a game changer once commercialised and proven economically viable.