No more solar cells covering a roof, but around the edges of a flat glass panel, as shown in the artist’s representation by NSF.
MIT engineers say they’ve created a new approach to harnessing the sun’s energy that provide windows with a clear view and illuminate rooms at the same time without the need for tracking devices.
According to a news release from MIT , the solar concentrator collects light at the edges, and dye molecules coated on the glass absorb sunlight and re-emits it at different wavelengths. The light is trapped within the glass and transported to solar cells along the edge, creating electricity and allowing light into the room as well.
The mixture of dyes is applied to the surface of the glass and allows light to travel a much longer distance. Mapel said, that as a result, light transportation losses were significantly reduced, resulting in a “tenfold increase in the amount of power converted by the solar cells.”