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Once the thing of pure science fiction, has today become a reality!
A new breakthrough technology — a transparent solar cell that can also be used as a window — was recently developed by researchers at Michigan State University.
This impressive and useful accomplishment was once thought to be impossible, because conventional solar panels absorb light and then turn it into energy, but a transparent surface on the other hand, is not able to absorb the light efficiently.
So to make a transparent solar cell, researchers had to think outside the box and opted for a new system called a transparent luminescent solar concentrator (TLSC).
This system contains organic salts which in turn absorb specific non-visible wavelengths of infrared and ultraviolet light. This light is then directed towards conventional photovoltaic solar cells which in turn, trap the energy and convert it into electricity for the win!
But it gets better! This material is not relegated solely for the use of windows, but it can also be used for displays on electronic devices. This gives them an additional source of power which can potentially extend their energy life span significantly.