Transparent solar cells for windows

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by zenMachine, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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    A team of UCLA researchers from the California NanoSystems Institute, the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and UCLA's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have demonstrated high-performance, solution-processed, visibly transparent polymer solar cells through the incorporation of near-infrared light-sensitive polymer and using silver nanowire composite films as the top transparent electrode. The near-infrared photoactive polymer absorbs more near-infrared light but is less sensitive to visible light, balancing solar cell performance and transparency in the visible wavelength region.

    Another breakthrough is the transparent conductor made of a mixture of silver nanowire and titanium dioxide nanoparticles, which was able to replace the opaque metal electrode used in the past. This composite electrode also allows the solar cells to be fabricated economically by solution processing. With this combination, 4% power-conversion efficiency for solution-processed and visibly transparent polymer solar cells has been achieved.

    Highly transparent solar cells for windows - Energy Harvesting Journal
     
  2. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    My research question yesterday was: "How can I recharge my future plugin Prius while driving on a long road trip?"

    Results of the research were not encouraging... And yes, there are many, many new discoveries in solar, but nothing substantive at all has been brought into mass production (yet). Twenty years from now I imagine every big building is going to be spraying on solar paint and selling the excess energy it generates at a profit. But for today... Solar is incredibly inefficient, especially for hybrid vehicle applications.

    My conclusion was the only way to recharge while driving is via a gas generator strapped to the back or maybe eventually a hydrogen fuel cell? And then probably some tricks will be needed to get the car to accept a charge while driving. And then figuring out if it actually improves MPGs, which it might not do. So I think I've given up on this dream for a while.

    But the research did give me a vision of a future Prius that will likely generate electricity for the battery by charging thru shock absorbers that an MIT team are developing. Also electricity from special windows as mentioned above and also thru solar paint. Another innovation that's a long way off is they've invented a strange kind of metal alloy that generates electricity when it is heated. It'd be pretty cool if your exhaust manifold could do that?

    The last idea I had before I moved on was what if you modified the undercarriage to focus the wind through a little mini-wind mill at the rear bumper. It'd probably look cool, like a beanie hat, but maybe that's more funny than practical? ;-)
     
  3. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    That future phev should have a bigger battery. The only good ways are pluging in when stopped or generating while driving. flex fuel ice or bio diesel compatible generators are the most likely mobile solution. Spray on solar paint is not realistic, but prices for panels have fallen and are continuing to fall. Solar on a car really is all about a cool factor, nothing to do with actually producing energy.


    There just is not much energy used in shock absorbers, just like the surface area of the car is not big enough for solar panels. There is potential for turning the waste heat into electricity though.

    any wind turbine will add to drag. That is unless you can pop it up only when you want to brake:), it will increase fuel consumption.
     
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