A team of researchers from Michigan State University managed to develop a fully transparent solar panels – a breakthrough that could lead to countless applications in architecture, as well as other fields such as mobile electronics or the automotive industry. Previous attempts to create such a device have been made, but results were never satisfying enough, with low efficiency and poor material quality.
The MSU team emphasized on the see-through factor. They developed a transparent luminescent solar concentrator, or TLSC, that can be placed over a window or any other clear surface. The concentrator can harvest solar energy without affecting light transmittance. The technology uses organic molecules which absorb wavelengths of light that are invisible to the human eye, like infrared and ultraviolet light.