This past Monday Michigan State University (MSU) posted on their news website about transparent solar panel technology and how it can change the way renewable energy is captured, and sure enough it has caught our attention!
Richard Lunt, the Johansen Crosby Endowed Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at MSU, alongside other researchers at the school pioneered the concept and technology of these transparent solar panels. According to the MSU Today article, “when [the transparent panel is] placed on a window [it] creates solar energy without disrupting the view…[t]he thin, plastic-like material can be used on buildings, car windows, cell phones or other devices with a clear surface”.
According to Lunt, the transparent solar technology is not at its fullest potential, especially since research on it has only been going on for about 5 years, compared to the several decades of research conducted on traditional solar panels. However the benefits are there. Currently solar energy is not a major contributor to the US’s main power source, but by being able to use this new technology alongside existing solar roof panels, ‘”[a]nd with that much glass to cover, transparent solar technologies have the potential of supplying some 40 percent of energy demand in the U.S. – about the same potential as rooftop solar units [alone]”.
We can’t wait to see what Richard Lunt and his team at MSU do with this technology in the future.