Monday, 14 July 2008

Let The Sun Shine!

Of course solar panels have been around for years. As the price falls, we see them reaching ubiquity in garden centres everywhere, as they are used to power outdoor nick-nacks from the essential to the completely unnecessary. However, innovation in this area continues to surge forward and provide betters answers for our more serious future domestic and industrial energy needs.

Perhaps surprisingly, it's through the treatment of ordinary windows with transparent dyes that can readily convert them into effective solar panels. This technology could revolutionise solar power and, from a cost perspective, begin to challenge the national grid. Why? Well instead of coating the whole panel with expensive solar cells, the units can just be attached to the sides. The special dyes which coat the surface of the glass automatically route the energy to the edges of the frame where it can be harnessed. This means 100 times less photovoltaic (PV) cells at 100 less cost!

Don't panic if you've just gone solar and can see the solar equivalent of Moore's Law catching you up! It's not just windows that can be converted. Existing solar panels and arrays can also be upgraded.

This breakthrough has been made by teams at MIT and widely welcomed by the likes of Greenpeace.

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