Solar film produces energy
Solar cell technology has advanced so far in the last few years, and it looks like it will continue to improve and expand. In fact, it already has. The researchers at UCLA have created a polymer that can produce electricity and block infrared radiation. That may not sound that impressive, but what if you knew that this polymer is organic? And what if it is thin, durable, and completely transparent?
This polymer can be applied thinly to windows and even entire buildings. And it’s invisible to the naked eye and can be sprayed onto any surface as a liquid. This means that windows on cars, planes, and houses can be covered with this polymer and keep out the heat. If this new technology continues to progress, car windows will no longer need to be tinted in order for the interior to remain cool.
With solar film, anything can conduct electricity
However, the coolest part of it all is that this thin polymer can be applied over anything so it can conduct electricity and essentially act as a charger. Imagine the possibilities of covering your phone with it. Imagine what it would mean if you could cover an entire aircraft with it or your car. This technology could revolutionize the solar energy industry.
UCLA’s polymer is transparent because it only gathers and absorbs the infrared part. The problem with this, however, is that it only converts 6% of the sun’s energy, compared to about 12% of traditional versions. UCLA hopes to improve that percentage in the coming years. They estimate that in about three to five years they can get that percentage up to 10%.
Long term plans for solar film
The ultimate hope for this solar improvement is to provide low-cost electricity to places in desperate need of it, including India and China. UCLA’s researchers thought about electricity in a new way, and that has translated perfectly into this new project. They’ve already made some advancements that seemed impossible. Only time will tell what solar-related technology we’ll see in the future. But it’s guaranteed to be increasingly beneficial for those who need it the most.
January 10, 2013 at 10:59 am
Now this – THIS – is the coolest thing I’ve read in a very long time!! Thanks, Charlene!
Navy Chief, Navy Pride