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New Energy, NREL Develop ‘Invisible Wires’ for Transporting Electricity on SolarWindow

Post Time:Mar 19,2012Classify:Industry NewsView:369


New Energy Technologies Inc. of Columbia, Md., and National Renewable Energy Laboratory scientists have successfully collected and transported electricity using a virtually ‘invisible’ conductive wiring system developed for SolarWindow, according to a March 15 release.


Currently under ongoing development, the conductive system’s ultra-fine grid-like pattern is deposited on to SolarWindow and is rendered virtually invisible when viewing objects through New Energy’s electricity-generating glass. Researchers anticipate that a fully functional system could help transport the electricity generated on glass surfaces, improving power, efficiency, and overall performance of the company’s SolarWindow.


NREL and New Energy have been working through a cooperative research and development agreement to advance the company’s SolarWindow technology for generating electricity on glass windows.


“It’s very exciting that we’ve not only achieved an important milestone with respect to the size of our SolarWindow, but we are now able to confidently tackle two of the most important factors to eventual commercialization – the structure and transparency of the wiring system which transports the electricity generated on see-through glass, and overall performance,” says John A. Conklin, president and CEO of New Energy Technologies, in the release.


The prospect of generating electricity on SolarWindow is made possible when researchers creatively layer and arrange unique, ultra-small see-through solar cells on to glass. Each of these cells are arranged in a network and interconnected by way of the ‘invisible’ grid-like wiring system, announced today. Until now, such systems used in early SolarWindow prototypes were relatively thick and bulky, and applied to glass in ways that obstructed light, prevented the absorbance of light energy necessary to produce electricity, and significantly reduced transparency, according to the release.


The ‘invisible’ wiring system is especially important to the ongoing development of SolarWindow, most notably allowing for more efficient collection and transport of electrons, both important for improving circuit current and overall efficiency. The system helps mitigate electrical ‘road-blocks,’ which restrict the flow of electrons with regions of high resistance, by creating a kind of low-resistance ‘highway’ for electron transport; without the benefit of a conductive grid system, resistive losses can significantly reduce power production.


“This technical accomplishment is an important advancement for our SolarWindow, and alongside our recent advancements with size and scale, clearly illustrates the success our research teams have achieved in recent months,” Conklin says in the release.


SolarWindow is currently under development for eventual commercial deployment in the estimated 85 million commercial buildings and homes in America.


Source: http://www.solarglazingmag.comAuthor: shangyi

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