Imagine, rather than supplementing your energy demands with solar-panels covering your roof, what if any glass surface could be coated with ultra-thin solar cells which don’t affect the overall transparency of the window? Any glass surface, from car windows to conservatories, could be replaced, with the resulting energy generated powering a variety of devices and gadgets.
Now NET Inc, an innovative US-based solar company, has developed an innovative technique which it hopes will simplify the manufacturing process, lowering production times and reducing costs, while resulting in a more durable glass for the consumer. Working in partnership with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), NET has previously unveiled an organic photovoltaic solution capable of being sprayed directly onto glass; however the difficulty lay with scaling-up the process for mass production.
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Chief Executive Officer at New Energy, John Conklin, said of the breakthrough:
“Over the past few months, our researchers have unveiled a virtually invisible conductive wiring system, which collects and transports electricity on SolorWindow prototypes, and have fabricated a large area working module, which is 14-tims larger than previous organic photovoltaic devices fabricated at NREL. Earlier, we developed our first-ever working SolarWindows prototype using a faster, rapid scale-up process for applying solution-based coatings.”
The improved production technique enables high speed roll-to-roll and sheet-to-sheet manufacturing and, crucially, can be performed at ambient pressure and low temperatures, lowering the cost and time significantly from the previous technique of high-temperature vacuum deposition.
“These achievements have moved us closer to our manufacturing scale-up, and power production goals, - all-important factors to advancing our SolarWindows technology towards commercial launch.”