The transparent photovoltaic concentrator will produce energy from smartphones

A solar concentrator makes photovoltaic panels transparent. It can be applied on different surfaces, from windows to smartphones glasses.

For several years, there have been researches on new technologies exploiting solar radiation to produce clean energy and to make these technologies minimally invasive, portable, to apply it everywhere. The transparent photovoltaic concentrator is one of these technologies.




Some researchers of Michigan State University, who created a solar concentrator to be put on a transparent surface, such as a window pane, and generating electricity. What is peculiar in this solar concentrator is that the surface (in this case the glass) remains transparent.


The technology is called transparent luminescent solar concentrator and could be applied to all buildings or to mobile phones. The solar energy harvesting system exploits small organic molecules developed by Richard Lunt, head of the research team, which can absorb ultraviolet wavelengths of sunlight, which cannot be seen by the human eye. The charged particles are then carried on thin photovoltaic strips placed on the edge of the surface, where they produce electricity.




This is not a brand new idea. Last may Università Bicocca of Milan, in cooperation with Los Alamos National Laboratory, carried out a similar project, realising special Plexiglas plate, which thanks to a special additive made of nanoparticles, work as solar concentrator and generate renewable electricity, keeping the surface transparent.


This technology, which is still at an early stage, can have several applications and be installed on buildings, glass walls, and smartphones or e-readers glasses, which will all produce renewable electricity. Soon,  mobile phones will no more need a charger.


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