Windows could be used as powerful solar panels thanks to a clever new technology that concentrates the sun\’s rays. The technique uses transparent dyes to capture, concentrate and redirect light along the surface of the glass to photovoltaic (PV) cells in the frame, which convert the light into electricity. The breakthrough means that there is a tenfold increase in power output compared to use of the PV cell alone.
The team, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), claims the technology could slash the cost of generating electricity from sunlight, making it more competitive with standard grid power. This is because the expensive PV cells only need to be installed at the sides of the panels, rather than across the whole surface.
No, it\’s not a solution yet. The dyes that do the work currently only last three months in operation. But the stream of innovations that are coming along (as Lomborg predicted they would and didn\’t he get stick for that) rather show up the government\’s current plans to build all those windmills. They\’re choosing a technology again and, as ever, look to have got the wrong one.