Scienctists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT opens up a new window of opportunity with a “window.”
They have discovered that using windows can provide a better way in capturing solar energy.The MIT team have created a new technique that uses simple windows to capture sun’s energy and convert it into electricity.
Currently, with traditional solar energy systems, we are using quite a large number of “solar cells” (expensive semiconductor devices that changes solar energy to electricity) to gather electrical power.
In a home solar energy for instance, we need an entire solar panel or roof to be covered with these expensive solar cells to obtain the needed amount of electricity and power the entire house.
But with this new discovery, the MIT team believes that the “solar concentrator” will be able to minimize the cost because the solar cells will only be placed around the solar window’s edges.
By using special chemical dyes coated on the entire window surface, the solar concentrator window can trap light from the Sun without the need to cover the entire window with solar cells. The special dyes work together to gather light energy and then transport it to the solar cells located around the window’s edges.
"We were able to substantially reduce light transport losses, resulting in a tenfold increase in the amount of power converted by the solar cells." MIT engineer expert Jon Mapel said.
The MIT team expects that this new technology can be commercially available in three years time. That could also mean that buildings can be a good source of electricity and windows could start to power our homes and could fight further environmental or climate change.
So we need not just to look outside our window anymore, but start looking at the window closely.