Windows have a simple function. You can see what’s on the other side without touching or being affected by it, with one exception. We still feel the sunlight that comes from the outside! Technological breakthroughs produce advances, even with something as simple as a window. Increased insulation, adjustable transparency, and UV protection are just a few. But could a window become a solar panel?
Obstacles to See-Through Photovoltaics
When you see beams of sunlight pouring through your home or office window, could that sunlight be converted to energy? Yes, it could, but if your window harvested every photon for electrical conversion it wouldn’t let any light through! If windows only harvested some photons and let others pass, however, they could fulfill their original function while still converting light to electricity. Therefore, many labs and companies want to create a photovoltaic coating to convert some of these photons into electricity.
Hurdles include stability issues with the treated windows, and the unavoidable color tinting caused by the coating. Without sufficient engineering and testing, you could end up with solar windows that are as colorful and fragile as stained glass. Most individuals prefer a stronger window in their home — and so does the State of California, as shown by exacting production standards. There’s also the consideration of price. Much like solar roofs or tiles, solar windows are not mass produced yet, and are likely to have increased cost despite lower conversion efficiency.
Seeing Through to the Future
Nevertheless, the idea of solar windows is proceeding through research and development at a strong pace. It might be years before we see a viable product ready for the average home or business, but rival companies are making breakthroughs with innovative ideas to overcome the challenges with this technology. In the meantime, you can reduce your electric bill with the use of tried and true solar panels for your home. At Solaron, we exclusively use SunPower solar panels, so you not only get the use of verified solar technology, but the best version of that technology. Of course, all of us at Solaron keep up to date with all the latest developments in the solar industry. If you’d like to get the most recent updates on solar panels, please give us a call.
When you’re ready to see how SunPower solar panels can benefit your home here and now, feel free to set up an appointment with us over the phone or here on our website. We’re here to help you see through to the benefits of photovoltaic power!