German Researchers Developing Transparent Solar Cell

A solar cell have been developed by Leipzig (DE) physicist as efficient and cheap in comparison to the international competition. Can muster arbitrarily large panes of glass. All facades become the power plant.

The world’s first transparent solar cell that serving is applied directly on a window pane and still consists of cheap and almost any available materials. Developer team of researchers at the University of Leipzig create solar cells consist of relatively rare and therefore expensive materials such as gallium nitride. The research group around Professor Marius Grundmann from the Institute for experimental physics in Leipzig required only oxide of cheap metals zinc and nickel.

UV light as a power supplier on windows

“We can muster the solar cells directly on large areas of glass”, says Grundmann. Transparent material can just happen normally visible light. It can be not caught so, to transform it in a second step into electrical energy. The material using the Leipzig, lets also visible light through, but catches the ultraviolet light. “We have reached a degree of efficiency by three percent in the laboratory”, says Grundmann. This corresponds to one watt per square metre. There quite a bit comes together on high-rise building facades, especially since the discs cost barely more than those who produce no power.

Competitors at the University of Michigan did an efficiency of just one percent. Both teams believe that much more can be achieved and aim at five percent. “We are here to improve the efficiency and transparency of the cells”, says Grundmann.

German Researchers Developing Transparent Solar Cell
The morning sun reflected in Hamburg in a glass facade. Ultraviolet light would be already to the new transparent solar cell in the Leipzig researchers steamed up on the Windows would captured and used for electricity production.

Then he will seek partners in the industry coating large panes of glass with solar cells. “It is now difficult to say when transparent solar cells are manufactured industrially. But the odds are good”, says the physicist. Above all, because the process is scalable, that is: it can equip any large slices with solar cells. So far, he put three years development work in the project.

UV emission in sporadic clouds

Solar cells that absorb ultraviolet light and converting, provide virtually no electricity close cloudy. Clouds can not pass the invisible rays. It’s different with sporadic clouds. Then the incidence of UV-light on Earth may be even higher than in clear skies. It’s more radiation because the clouds distract them in the direction of Earth. In 2005, researchers of the Kieler Leibniz Institute for marine sciences have demonstrated measurements.

Developing Transparent Solar Cell
Marco Furchi, Thomas Müller and Andreas Pospischil (left to right): researchers at the Technical University of Vienna develop the solar cell that consists of only a few Atomic layers.

Thinnest solar cell

A solar cell developed by Austrian researchers is almost transparent. This the world’s thinnest solar cell is just a few atoms thick and ultra light.

300 square meter solar film that could be glued on window with weigh only one gram.