Researchers at Michigan State University have created a fully transparent solar concentrator, which could turn any window into a photovoltaic solar cell.
Richard Lunt, who led the research, and the team are confident that the transparent solar panels can be efficiently deployed in a wide range of settings, from “tall buildings with lots of windows or any kind of mobile device
The technololgy used is a transparent luminescent solar concentrator (TLSC). The TLSC consists of organic salts that absorb specific non-visible wavelengths of ultraviolet and infrared light, which they then luminesce (glow) as another wavelength of infrared light (also non-visible). This emitted infrared light is guided to the edge of plastic, where thin strips of conventional photovoltaic solar cell convert it into electricity. [Research paper: DOI: 10.1002/adom.201400103 - "Near-Infrared Harvesting Transparent Luminescent Solar Concentrators"]