Eco Friendly Windows: Transparent Solar Collectors

First of all, let’s make it clear that we are talking about the actual windows in your home or office and not the Windows operating system. Second, by green, we mean eco friendly windows. How are researchers working on windows that can help reduce energy consumption and costs? What is this potentially world shaping new idea?

Researchers have been spending a lot of time developing better solar panels, but some ingenious developers in Michigan got together and came up with the idea for transparent solar collectors. This would allow for conventional windows to be replaced with green energy collectors.

Of course, this isn’t the first time someone has come up with the idea. The Michigan researchers are just the first ones to make the idea feasible. Previous versions of transparent solar collectors were scrapped, because they simply didn’t collect and output enough energy to make them worth the cost. The other issue was actually making them transparent. Some were tinted so dark that they were hardly windows anymore. Others required a tinting that was colored, severely limiting their market since most homeowners and shopkeepers will opt for clear glass over colored. After all, when light comes through colored glass, it changes the entire appearance of the room, tinting everything a hue of the glass color.

So, what is the ‘secret ingredient’ that solves these problems? The transparent collectors work by absorbing light that is already invisible to the human eye, so no particular colors are lost. This is done using organic molecules so tiny that the glass still appears transparent despite their existence.

While you aren’t going to be seeing these clear solar energy collectors in homes or offices quite yet, the technology works and is being tweaked to prepare it for eventual mass production. Imagine a home where all of the ‘windows’ actually collected energy from the sun to help power the home. Imagine offices going green by replacing current windows with these eco friendly windows. This is really a huge advancement in the battle against global warming.