Industry News

British media: new solar materials turn windows into smart devices

 According to the British "New Scientist" weekly reported on July 3, this study involves a three-way balanced approach. This new material is not only transparent like ordinary glass windows, but also needs to collect bright light to generate electricity while shielding the sunlight to keep the interior cool.

According to the report, Ye Xuanli of the South China University of Technology and his team applied transparent polymer solar cells to pass visible light, but converted the light of the near-infrared wavelength into electric current, and added a layer of reflective material to transfer infrared light to generate heat. part.

According to the report, in the test, the new film transmits 25% of visible light and converts 9% of it into electricity. Ye Xuanli said that this is 15% lower than the standard solar panels usually installed on the roof, but the efficiency of polymer solar cells has been increasing.

The researchers calculated that if the solar panels were installed in every window of the house, the electricity bill could be halved. Other potential applications include automotive and self-generating greenhouses.

Ye Xuanli said that the new film must be improved in stability before it enters the market, making it durable for more than 10 years. He is also exploring the possibility of printing this film to reduce costs.

Mark Moldovnik, a materials expert at University College London, said: “Creating a house that can collect light is a trend in the future.” But he believes that the construction industry needs to change its mind before adopting the technology that actually turns windows into electronic devices. mode.

“The building industry uses glass, concrete and steel to make houses, and only a few solar panels are hung on the roof. This is a limitation of integration. The way people build future buildings needs a clear transformation to get this technology off.”