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Power Your Building With ‘Smart Windows’

With steep increases in the price of electricity a reality,  and ongoing concern about carbon emissions many homeowners around the globe have started to think about using solar power to keep their household costs down.

People living in stand alone houses are able to use rooftop solar panels to generate their own power but what about people living in apartments?

One solution may be to install “smart” windows. These are in development and integrate solar panel technology into window glass allowing you to power your house.

UCLA’s Material Science and Engineering Department has come up with a solar cell made of polymer. These cells can produce power by harnessing the Infrared (IR) light. The window glass is made of transparent conductors which harvests the IR rays making the glass 75% transparent. The glass absorbs IR rays which are not visible to the naked eye but allows visible light to pass, the energy efficiency is five percent greater than regular solar cells.

Polymer solar cells

Oxford Photovoltaic Group affiliated under Oxford University have designed a window which uses organic solar cells. These cells are directly printed on the windows making it a power producing window. The principle used here isthe  same as photosynthesis. An electron from a special dye is released when the sun’s rays falls on the window. This coated layer will last for 20 years.

Designed by Maryland based firm, New Energy Technologies, this innovative window uses photosensitive film to generate power. You need to spray the material on the window glass to accomplish this task. The best part of this technology is that it uses both the sun’s rays as well as ordinary light to generate power. If the coating fades you can respray it. These windows are said to produce more power than rooftop panels.

Peer+ have come up with an interesting and really smart window which changes its opacity to filter the sun’s ray and keep your room at a temperature your prefer, this saves costs and energy used for heating or coolling . Energy can also be produced from blocked sunlight in this technology.
Peer+ - smart glass technology

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