A group of engineers from the National laboratory at Los Alamos have developed a technique of creating Windows with functions of solar battery. With the help of solar concentrators based on quantum dots can produce window panes of large size, able to provide electricity to the whole building. To create solar Windows, the researchers used a "scalpel method", which resembles the technology used in printing to remove excess ink and to make the surface smooth. Scientists struck on a thin slice of glass is a mixture of polyvinylpyrrolidone and a tiny semiconductor colloidal quantum dots.
The obtained luminescent solar concentrator (LSC) allows you to control the process of "absorption" of light and act as light-harvesting antennae for solar concentration with a large surface for miniature solar cells. Properties of quantum dots it is possible to configure in such a way that they absorb only light with a specific wavelength and weed out unsuitable options. Furthermore, colloidal quantum dot light-resistant and can last for a long time.
In a study published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, the scientists noted that a thin layer of quantum dots on the surface of the glass can keep the properties within 14 years with a conversion efficiency of 1.9%. To development received a practical application, it is necessary to achieve an efficiency of at least 6%.
Typically, these studies use a small glass squares, but engineers at Los Alamos were able to give the properties of solar panels, wide glass panels. A coating of this type will transform the facades into a powerful energy generators.
The application of LSK will also help reduce the cost of solar energy. Unlike conventional solar modules, innovative Windows do not require expensive photovoltaic materials.
According to Sergio Brovelli from the University of Milano-Bicocca, one of the coordinators of the study, technology can be the basis for the creation of cities with zero energy consumption. Scientist calculated that if you install 12 000 window panels on the surface of the world trade center 1, energy enough to provide 350 apartments.
Recently, a similar decision was presented the start of the SolarWindow Technologies. The company has developed a special coating for glass-based carbon material, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen. If the cover glass of a modern skyscraper composition from SolarWindow, 30-50% of the required building energy you can get from the sun. While solar Windows will generate 50 times more energy than comparable photovoltaic cells on the roof.
Previously, scientists from ITMO University has presented an optical fluorescent glass, which converts damaging to solar module energy ultraviolet radiation and use it for additional charge. If such cover glass of the solar panel, its efficiency can be increased two times by converting ultraviolet radiation into electricity. published