Transparent, Solar Power-Harvesting Windows Could Provide 40% of U.S. Energy

Transparent solar materials that can be applied to windows represent a massive source of untapped energy, as a team of scientists recently reported in Nature Energy. The researchers, led by engineers at Michigan State University (MSU), argue that widespread use of such highly transparent solar applications, together with the rooftop units, could nearly meet U.S. electricity demand and drastically reduce the use of fossil fuels. Transparent solar technologies have the potential of supplying up to 40 percent of energy demand in the U.S. The Michigan State University  engineers pioneered the development of a clear luminescent solar concentrator that when placed on a window creates solar energy without blocking the view. The thin, plastic-like material can be used on buildings, homes, car windows, cell phones or other devices with a clear surface.Tech Briefs spoke with the MSU inventors; learn more about their technology works.