Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Invention Spotlight: Solar Panel Windows

A new invention may allow homeowners to use their windows to generate electricity. Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), have concocted a "solar concentrator" that can help channel sunlight into a viable power source.

According to The Independent, the "solar concentrator is made from a film of organic molecules that can be coated on to glass window panes or other surfaces exposed to sunlight. The MIT solar concentrator involves a mixture of two or more dyes that are painted onto a pane of glass or plastic. These dyes absorb light across a range of different wavelengths, which is then re-emitted at a different wavelength and transported across the pane to the waiting solar cells at the edges." This technique of concentrating power is reportedly, "10 times more powerful than conventional methods of producing energy from sunlight."

With everyone understandably jumping on the "Go Green" bandwagon, this invention is likely to become popular in the future. However, before the solar concentrator can be widely utilized, the process has to be perfected. Also, Go Green pundits can only be so gung-ho when it comes to this new procedure because the costs of implementing it is currently very high. Patience will have to be exercised as scientists streamline is efficiency, and find ways to make its usage cheaper.

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