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January 12th, 2010

Glass windows to be coated with solar cells

Published on January 12th, 2010 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Via press release, Maryland-based New Energy Technologies has developed a process of spraying solar cells onto glass, resulting in the production of its emerging solar window product.

This development comes a week after New Energy’s announcement that the company was able to eliminate the metal material from the solar cells used in the manufacturing of its see-through SolarWindow.

New Energy believes that spraying solar cells for its SolarWindow could provide significant commercial production advantages over today’s thin-films.

The company said that conventional thin-films are typically manufactured using expensive and slow manufacturing methods that rely on high-temperature and delicate vacuum deposition processes for depositing solar materials on substrates.

“[T]he resultant products are simply too thick to allow for transparency, an important consideration in the development of a commercially viable solar-powered glass window,” New Energy said.

New Energy’s president Meetesh Patel said, “In commercial terms, this new spray technology could translate into important manufacturing advantages for our SolarWindow, including significant cost-savings, high-speed production and room-temperature deposition – common barriers to commercial success for innovative solar technologies.”

The production of solar-generated electricity on glass is made possible by the world’s tiniest working solar cells and related components, which New Energy said can now be sprayed on the glass surface.

New Energy said its ultrasmall solar cells enable development of an ultrathin film, only one-thousandth the thickness of a human hair or one-tenth of a micrometer. Conventional thin films are comparatively a lot thicker, making them unfit for windows.



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