Transparent Solar Collectors Transforms Windows into Solar Panels

Imagine all the windows of the tall skyscrapers in the country generating electricity for its own? Well, it may one day happen well into the future as researchers working at Michigan State University (MSU) have developed a solar collector that is completely transparent. This means it could replace conventional glass used in windows and other transparent surfaces such as screens smartphones, vehicle glazing, and a lot more.

The device, dubbed as luminescent solar concentrators, can collect photons from the sun and turn any surface into solar electric generators.

Many experiments have already been done with transparent solar collectors and the results vary because while some succeeded, other failed – particularly in the inefficient production of energy. Apart from that, other produced solar concentrators were not transparent, brightly coloured or too darkly tinted.

According to Richard Lunt, assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science at MSU, “No one wants to sit behind coloured glasses. It makes for a very colourful environment, like working in a disco. We take an approach where we actually make the luminescent active layer itself transparent.”

The difference of traditional solar panels and the transparent solar collectors is that their transparent counterparts use microscopic organic molecules created to absorb specific wavelengths of light invisible to the human eye. The light it collects is sent to the perimeter edge of the plastic where it is transformed into electricity by thin strips of photovoltaic solar cells.

According to Lunt, because the materials don’t absorb or emit light in the visible spectrum, they look exceptionally transparent to the human eye. The research team still admits that this technology is still on its earliest stages but they have high hopes of scaling up to commercial level. The team also have a goal of reaching a 5 per cent efficiency rate. Right now, the best solar collectors reach up to 7 per cent.

Ultimately, the team wants to create a solar collector harvesting surfaces without people even knowing it’s there. These could be glazing on windows, smartphone screens, and even car windows. It can even be used on surfaces with transparent plastics. “It can be used on tall buildings with lots of windows or any kind of mobile device that demands high aesthetic quality like a phone or e-reader,” said Lunt.

Once the technology is made available to residential and commercial establishments, people can now collect power for their homes and gadgets easily. As long as the sun is shining, people can get free electricity. Soon, people will be asking how much replacement windows cost with this kind of transparent solar collector glazing.

At the moment, solar panels commonly found in the country include solar photovoltaic panels and solar hot water or thermal panels. They are made from polycrystalline cells that collect the photons and heat of the sun to produce electricity or heat. They are also commonly installed on roofs of establishments and home to get the maximum amount of sunlight possible.

The team’s research was also recently featured in the journal Advanced Optical Materials.


3 Cleaning Solutions for Your Hard-to-Remove Toilet Stains

Are you currently in a battle with the toilet stains in your bathroom? Have you considered the use of chemical cleaners and toilet cleaners to get rid of the stains? The internet has a lot to offer us homeowners who are looking for alternatives to chemical harsh cleaners!
Here are some of the secret cleaning solutions you can find out the internet for hard-to-remove toilet stains.
1. Use Coke
Coke? Yup! You read that correctly. Despite Coke’s famous use as a beverage for quenching thirst, you can also use this black liquid to melt away stains in your bowl. Knowing this kind of makes you want to think twice before having a can or bottle of Coke, right? But anyway, articles and videos have shown proof of its ability to clean your toilet! It’s mainly because of Coke’s citric acids and carbon which breaks down stains. I’ve posted one video below.

2. Vinegar and Baking Soda combo
This is combination is affordable and easy to find. Vinegar and baking soda has a lot of uses, on its own or when combined, even for cleaning toilets. First, but about a cup of vinegar inside the bowl and then about a cup of baking soda.

Swish the mixture around to make sure that areas that need to be cleaned above the waterline is included. Wait for the reaction of baking soda and vinegar to subside. After the sizzles and thirty to an hour of waiting, you can now scrub it and flush the dirt away.

3. Borax and Vinegar
Here’s another white powder mixture with vinegar! Borax is a wonderful cleaning product that can effectively remove hard stains in the toilet and other plumbing fixtures. Put ¼ cup of borax on the stained area. Add 1 cup of vinegar on the affected areas and let the mixture sit for about 20 minutes before finishing off with scrubbing on stubborn stains.
Let me know what you think of these solutions! You have to try them first before commenting on this article! Thanks for reading!